Saturday, September 12, 2015

California legislature approves legal physician-assisted end-of-life with many restrictions

The California legislature has approved a bill that would allow (for the terminally ill) physician-assisted suicide, but with considerable procedural restrictions, as in the NBC story here

It’s unclear if Jerry Brown will sign it.

The ability to extend life is creating more questions about death with dignity and ending suffering, in some cases.   It is normally acceptable to end life support if that is the patient’s living advanced directive.  

Many medications relieve suffering (as from inability to swallow) in hospice settings at the end of life, and using these is not controversial

NBC also reports that an argument used in a ruling by the Canadian Supreme Court could gain traction here. That is, in Canada, the fundamental right to life and liberty can be construed as including the right to end one’s life, in some circumstances.

Yes, Jack Kervorkian provoked a lot of debate back around 1993, the same time that gays in the military was being debated. 


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