Legalizing The Death With Dignity Act

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The story of Brittany Maynard continues to sweep the nation and has sparked a highly controversial debate concerning the legality and ethicality of assisting in one’s death. When twenty-nine year old Maynard was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and given less than six months to live, she made the difficult decision to pick up and move to Portland, Oregon. Oregon exists as one of only four states that have legalized assisted suicide (Egan 60-64). In Oregon, she legally ended her battle with cancer in a dignified manner (Egan 60-64). The American Heritage Dictionary defines euthanasia as, “the action of inducing the painless death of a person for reasons assumed to be merciful” (Morris 453). There are more people than just Maynard who are strong…show more content…
During the first year the death with dignity act went into effect in Oregon, just fifteen people ended their life through the process of euthanasia. In 1997, a group of people rallied to undermine the death with dignity act with a statute called measure fifty-one but the citizens of Oregon rejected the measure proving that the men and women of Oregon demand this right and want the death with dignity act to stay in place ("Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Timeline"). Sixty-one physicians wrote prescriptions for lethal doses of medication in Oregon in the year 2012 for the purpose of euthanasia, displaying the willingness of experienced medical professionals to assist patients in dying with dignity ("Prescription for Suicide" 1). Washington became the second state to legalize assisted suicide in November of 2008, and Montana followed suit on January second, 2010. Finally, Vermont legalized assisted suicide in May of 2013, becoming the fourth and final state to emulate support for death with dignity. The precise reason that more states do not make dying with dignity a legal option is complicated, but one factor that does contribute to the rejection of assisted suicide legislation is the concerns about the safety and ethicality of euthanasia ("Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Timeline"). The reality of these concerns is that the regulations regarding assisted suicide are proving to work impeccably as noted by the Canada Compassion and Choices
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