For the rights of the terminal, or hopelessly physically ill, competent adult
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Controversy in Oregon about the best term to describe how a doctor helps a terminally ill person to die under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (1994) set me thinking about all the terms we use to describe ways of dying and death. The row in Oregon is between people on the ‘choice’ side who abhor words like suicide, euthanasia, and Hemlock, while on the ‘anti-choice’ side they want the foregoing words to be clearly spelled out because, they think, it helps their opposing case. Read more ...
In a spirit of compassion for all, this manifesto proclaims that every competent adult has the incontestable right to humankind’s ultimate civil and personal liberty -- the right to die in a manner and at a time of their own choosing. Whereas modern medicine has brought great benefits to humanity, it cannot entirely solve the pain and distress of the dying process. Read more ...
Controversial in death as in life, the Hemlock Society USA as a name died suddenly on June 13, 2003, in a boardroom in Denver, Colorado. It was 23 years old. Public relations experts and political strategists leaning heavily on focus groups were on hand to usher in the death knell. Months of agonizing debate had preceded the decision because no one could think of a better name!
Born in 1980 in my garage in Santa Monica, California, Hemlock went on to... Read more ...
When we look at what the right-to-die movement has achieved, against what it has wished to do, an honest person would agree that there is still a long, long way to go. The first signs of organized activity on this issue came in the late 1930s in Britain, but nothing really happened until the 1970s when the public -- the non-medical world -- woke up with a shock to the fact that we often die differently nowadays compared to our ancestors. Read more ...
Assisted suicide laws around the world are clear in some nations but unclear if they exist at all in others. Just because a country has not defined its criminal code on this specific action does not mean all assisters will go free. It is a complicated state of affairs. A great many people instinctively feel that suicide and assisted suicide are such individual acts of freedom and free will that they assume there are no legal prohibitions. This fallacy has brought many people into trouble with the law. Read more ...
Visit the Assisted-Dying Blog maintained by Derek Humphry
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Updated January 02, 2019