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PAS: Legality and Morality

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Death with Dignity Act

Legality and Morality

by Olha Chabanov

"Conflict and strife appear to be as basic to society as harmony, integration, and smooth functioning" (Kornblum, 1997)

California

Oregon

Washington

Montana

Vermont

1870 First proposal to legalize PAS

CONS Sanctity of life Potential for abuse Professional Integrity- Hippocratic oath "Slippery Slope" argument

PROS People have the right to die with dignity. Patients have the right to the kind of treatment they want.

Since the low passed in 1997, total  of 1,545 people have had prescription written under the DWDA, and 991 have died from ingesting the medication.

Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.

"The history of the law's treatment of assisted suicide in this country has been and continues to be one of the rejection of nearly all efforts to permit it. That being the case, our decisions lead us to conclude that the asserted 'right' to assistance in committing suicide is not a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause." Washington v. Glucksberg US Supreme Court Majority Opinion June 26, 1997

In a democratic society we all should have freedom to choose.

Cons

"A state's categorical ban on physician assistance to suicide -- as applied to competent, terminally ill patients who wish to avoid unendurable pain and hasten inevitable death -- substantially interferes with this protected liberty interest and cannot be sustained." ACLU Amicus Brief in Vacco v. Quill American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Dec. 10, 1996

Pros

Source: euthanasia.procon.org;  http//www.healthoregon.org/