‘Death with Dignity’: is it suicide?

But what’s the right term, really? After all, much of the political disagreement and legal wrangling over this issue is rooted in this fundamental conceptual question, is “physician-assisted
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Five states have now legalized “Death with Dignity”: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and most recently, the most populous state in the US, California. By 2016, when the California “End of Life Option Act” goes into effect, 1 in 10 Americans will live in jurisdictions in which it is legal for a physician to prescribe a lethal drug to a terminally ill patient who, under a variety of safeguards, requests it. Opponents label this “physician-assisted suicide”; proponents use terms like “self-deliverance,” “physician-assisted dying,” “aid-in-dying,” and “hastened death.” But what’s the right term, really? After all, much of the political disagreement and legal wrangling over this issue is rooted in this fundamental conceptual question, is “physician-assisted suicide” really suicide? Let’s see if we can figure it out. Which of these cases is suicide? A heartsick teenager slits her writs, stung by rejection from a boyfriend. A middle-aged businessman, shamed by failure in an economic. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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