In 1997, Oregon voters approved the Death with Dignity Act, which allows doctors to help the terminally ill hasten their deaths. While other states have considered such a law, none has approved it. Proponents say the dying should have some control over their final days – autonomy that can only occur with the help of a physician. But critics, including law professor Nelson Lund (George Mason University), fear that legalization opens the way for abuse by doctors and relatives of the dying.
Also featured: A look at assisted-suicide in Oregon and the Netherlands and the ethical questions faced by doctors involved. Bioethicist Jonathan Moreno (University of Virginia) says while physician-assisted suicide is sometimes ethical, it shouldn’t be legal.
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