Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: What in the World is Going On?

Source: Alex Schadenberg

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal in a few jurisdictions in the world, but most countries have rejected their legalization.

Most recently, legislation to legalize euthanasia and/or assisted suicide has been rejected in France, Israel, England, Scotland, Australia, Canada, Bulgaria, etc. In the U.S., where there have been well over 100 legislative proposals to legalize physician-assisted suicide (PAS) since 1994, California, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and more have recently rejected it. (1)

In the United States, assisted suicide was legalized by voter initiatives in Oregon in 1994 and Washington State in 2008. (2) A 2009 Montana Supreme Court ruling did not legalize assisted suicide but it did create a potential defense, based on consent of the patient, for physicians who are prosecuted for assisted suicide. In 2011, a bill to prohibit PAS and a bill to create regulations for PAS were both introduced in the MT legislature. Neither bill had enough votes for passage. (3)

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