It has been nearly twenty-five years since Dr. Jack Kevorkian put an ad in a Detroit newspaper offering “death counseling”. At the time, he was considered a monster who was a detriment to society and was sent to prison.
In the quarter of a century since then, the attitude of the American legal system has changed quite a bit. As recently as January of this year, a judge in New Mexico ruled that physicians have the constitutional right to prescribe lethal doses of medication to help end their patient’s lives. As expected, the decision is already being appealed and religious organizations are outraged by the judge’s decision.
New Mexico is not alone in its decision, however. Currently, four other states in the union allow for physician-assisted suicide. These four states are: Oregon, Vermont, and Washington which allow for suicide via legislation; and Montana, that requires a court ruling for the aid. The federal government has no laws prohibiting this course of action. It is left to be determined on a state level.
How many more states may follow?
Opponents of physician-assisted suicide cite that this is murder and is in direct contrast with most religious doctrine. They state that God will protect people and that people must die naturally. On the other side of the coin, many advocates of physician-assisted suicide feel that it is more humane than to allow a person to suffer or be in excruciating pain. It is common-place for us to put down a dog or cat when they become terminally ill, but we’d rather let a human being deteriorate and die horribly.
Many people can see both sides of the argument. Most may be against this form of death until it affects them or a loved one personally.
What are your thoughts on physician-assisted suicide? Are you for or against it and what is your reasoning? There may be no clear-cut answers.
We’d like to hear from you at the Kabb Law Firm. Please comment below or call the Kabb Law firm at 216.991.KABB (5222).