Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act is one of the state’s most controversial but progressive laws offering terminally ill patients with an alternative and humane option. Passed in 1994 and officially enacted in 1997, the law allows patients to request lethal dosages of medication to end their own lives. Oregon is one of three states that have legalized aid-in-death law. 39 have prohibited such practices and the remaining states don’t have laws specifically regarding assisted suicide. According to PublicHealth.org, it’s up to individual insurance companies to cover
Since the death With Dignity law was passed, 1,173 prescriptions have been written and 752 have actually gone through with the process. The most recent participant in the Oregon’s Ballot 16 law, was Brittany Maynard, who after finding out she had a rare type of brain cancer this past January, ended her life Saturday Nov. 1.
According to DeathWithDignity.org, “It’s not suicide nor euthanasia; rather, a possible option if the pain from the underlying illness gets to be too much or quality of life too degraded.”
There is a lengthy history of assisted suicide and each time religious practices and morality are called into question.
But there is a separation of church and state. Agnostics or other religions that don’t have specified religious views about these kinds of matters shouldn’t have say over what someone wants to do with their lives. After all, it belongs to the individual and having to suffer then die, is rather traumatic to both go through and witness.
As long as the individual knows what they want and they have made financial preparations for their family including paying off debts, then they should have the right to end their life and avoid an unimaginable, slow and painful death.