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How Far Does Your Liberty Go?

 

 

 

Is Death A Right?
Should It Be?

Current Events

Backstory

We’ve looked at laws impacting the very beginning of life – Here’s a look at laws impacting the end.

  • “Death With Dignity” laws focus on those who are terminally ill and want some control over their final days.
  • Maine is the latest state to decide whether it will legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
Current Events

The Maine Bill

  • The Democrat-controlled legislature passed the bill – now it’s up to the Democrat governor to either veto it or sign it into law.
  • Under the bill, terminally ill & mentally competent adult residents could obtain a fatal dose of prescription drugs from their physician after three requests, two waiting periods, and a second doctor’s opinion.
Current Events

BIGGER PICTURE

  • Oregon was the first state to pass a death with dignity law in 1997.
  • Since 2008, six other states (CA, CO, HI, NJ, WA, VT) & DC have passed similar laws.
  • Requirements, application, and safeguards vary by state.
  • Statistics show not all patients use their prescription.
  • At least 18 states considered similar bills so far this year.
Current Events

“This is a bill that’s about choice. It’s about the end of life because life includes death and when people are close to death they want choices in how they’re doing to end their life.”

The bill's sponsor Rep. Patricia Hymanson (D) on why the bill matters. She says the bill has safeguards to protect those suffering with dementia, mental illness, and to prevent coercion.
Current Events

“I think life is valuable and is precious and should be preserved till the very end.”

Maine state Sen. Lisa Keim (R) on why she can't support the bill. Other opponents say legislators should focus on focus on improving end-of-life care (ex: hospice) and cite fears of unintended consequences, like the elderly feeling pressured to end their lives due to financial restraints on family.
Current Events

A similar bill was vetoed in Maine years ago. Even if the governor vetoes this bill, a voter initiative legalizing the practice could make it onto Maine's 2020 ballot. What do YOU think? Should YOU have the right to end YOUR life?

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