Assisted Death

Sean Philpott-Jones: How To Die In California

Aug 25, 2016

Late last month, Betsy Davis died at her home in Ojai, California. The 41-year-old performance artist was suffering from ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which had already robbed her of the ability to stand, to walk, and to speak clearly. Facing the prospect of a slow and lingering death as she lost her capacity to move, to eat and, eventually, to breathe, Ms. Davis took her own life by taking a lethal dose of barbiturates.

http://esty.house.gov/

 It’s been a busy week in Washington.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about something more personal. 

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A poll indicates there's strong support in Connecticut for legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe medication to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

WAMC

The Vermont Senate has passed a physician-assisted suicide bill and moved it to the House chamber.  But the amended bill is substantially different than the original bill presented to lawmakers.

The Vermont Senate passed the “Patient Choice and Control at End of Life” bill late Thursday. It grants immunity from criminal or civil liability to health care professionals and family members when treating or helping a terminally ill patient who decides to end their own life.

WAMC

A bill that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients could be heading for trouble as the Vermont Senate prepares to debate it.

The Senate on Tuesday rejected a Judiciary Committee recommendation that the bill be defeated. But as the bill came up for preliminary passage Wednesday, there were efforts to introduce big changes or delay action.

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Backers of legislation that would allow Vermont doctors to help terminally ill patients end their own lives say experience in other states shows the policy to be a good one.

Oregon and Washington have laws on the books allowing what backers call death with dignity and opponents call physician-assisted suicide.