19 more states are considering assisted suicide legislation

Nearly 20 states are debating legislation related to assisted suicide, as the topic continues to permeate through the United States and abroad.

Currently, nine states have made it legal to get medically assisted suicide from the government, while a 2009 Montana Supreme Court ruling declared that it would not be against public policy or be illegal.

California, Colorado, D.C., Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont all have laws on the books permitting euthanasia.

According to Axios, 19 states have pending legislation, including Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and more.

In Virginia, for example, a bill was passed to allow those with terminal illnesses to request a “self-administered controlled substance” to end their lives, the Daily Caller reported.

Virginia Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton wrote a letter in support of the legislation, as she suffers from progressive supranuclear palsy, a neurodegenerative disease.

“There are [thousands of Virginians] dealing with terminal illnesses facing unthinkable challenges and choices because of these devastating health conditions,” she wrote. “That is why this legislation is so critical. It is a vital step allowing Virginians to gain the dignity, freedom, and peace of mind we deserve in the face of a tragic terminal illness like mine.”

Similarly in New York, the state hopes to pass legislation after obtaining support from the New York State Bar Association for the first time, along with a push from Democratic politicians.

“We have momentum like we haven’t seen since the bill was first introduced close to a decade ago,” said Democrat state Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal.

The Arizona bill would allow patients to request that doctors withhold “food and liquids” from them.

“An adult may prepare a written statement known as a living will to control the health care treatment decisions that can be made on that person’s behalf, including:

1.Hospice care.
2. The use of medications for the management of pain and suffering.
3. How and under what circumstances the ingestion of food and liquids may be limited or discontinued,” the bill states.

Euthanasia was first made legal in Oregon in 1997, followed by California, Vermont, and Washington state.

Internationally, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland have legalized physician-assisted suicide. Colombia, Italy, and Germany have also legalized it but have no formal procedures yet.

In Canada, the government recently paused assisted suicide for the mentally ill. The service is still available for those over 18 years old.

In the Netherlands, assisted suicide eligibility extends to 12-year-old children.

“Minors may themselves request euthanasia from the age of 12, although the consent of the parents or guardian is mandatory until they reach the age of 16,” a government website explained. “Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds do not need parental consent in principle, but their parents must be involved in the decision-making process.

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