Assisted suicide laws are more dangerous than people acknowledge

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October 31, 2014

By John B. Kelly

The media is flush with the sympathetic story of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old newlywed with aggressive brain cancer. Her video advocating expanded assisted suicide laws has been seen millions of times, prompting another push in the State Assembly to pass an assisted suicide bill.

When the focus is on an individual, assisted suicide can sound good – who’s against compassion or relieving suffering? But a closer look reveals that assisted suicide puts vulnerable people in mortal danger.

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The danger of assisted suicide laws

cnn opinion

by Marilyn Golden

Mon October 13, 2014

(CNN) -- My heart goes out to Brittany Maynard, who is dying of brain cancer and who wrote last week about her desire for what is often referred to as "death with dignity."

Yet while I have every sympathy for her situation, it is important to remember that for every case such as this, there are hundreds -- or thousands -- more people who could be significantly harmed if assisted suicide is legal.

Read more: The danger of assisted suicide laws

Locals debate assisted suicide: should it be legal?

WROCWROC

10/14/2014

Diane Coleman, President & CEO of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights organization, discusses Brittany Maynard's tragic illness and the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide.  

..."Where assisted suicide is legal there is a blanket, an immunity that covers all of that and there is no investigation, no questions asked and the door for that needs to remain open not closed. Because of the real risks that old, ill and disabled people face in this society."

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Physician-Assisted Dying: A Clinician's Perspective

MedScape

Joshua M. Hauser, MD

September 25, 2014

Responding to Wishes for Hastened Death

Dying is unpredictable. These cases represent two phenomena which I believe are common in our care of dying patients: (1) how rapidly patients' wishes for hastened death can change; and (2) the unpredictability of the interventions that we use to address these wishes. Sometimes, despite all of the remarkable advances in palliative care that we have had over these past decades, we may not even know which specific intervention has made a difference.

Read more: Physician-Assisted Dying: A Clinician's Perspective