Death with Dignity Act

I believe sound minded individuals should have the right to seek aid in dying (AID) means. I support the Death with Dignity Act (DWD) 100%, and wish the United States of America Supreme Court could rule that the right to die does in fact support the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Although it has been given many titles throughout the centuries, assisted medical suicide, right to die, aid in dying, death with dignity, it all comes down to the same concept which implies a person has the right to say they want to end their life. In 1828, Washington v. Glucksheet was brought to the New York Supreme Court regarding physician assisted suicide. The courts ruled that physician assisted suicide was not a liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment (Blakey, 2020). Today we have individual states who can decide whether or not they support the DWD Act, or they feel it is illegal. Oregon was the first state in the US to legalize AID. Today we have 11 states that honor AID: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Montana, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Aside from the misery and pain a person must suffer from their terminally illness, I think it is important to look at the financial burden that comes with a loved one at this time. The expenses of staying in a hospital long term is ridiculous. Honestly, staying in the hospital over any period of time for any circumstance is ridiculous. If a parent wishes to leave their children with an inheritance over spending all their retirement on medical needs, they should be able to make that decision. Ethically, I strongly believe a person should have the choice to end their life. Because we all have different faiths and beliefs, we should not view this as a religious right. We should not chastise a person for wanting to do what they feel is best for them. After all, it is not you enduring the pain they are feeling day in and day out. It is not you who will end up gasping for your last breath and slowly suffocating. This is a personal choice that needs to be well thought out, well planned out, and decided while one is in optimal health. I also feel we have a lot we can learn from the Netherlands regarding how they see AID. For starters, all citizens have the medical care, and therefore because the cost of medical care is not a burden, they tend to have regular visits with their physician (Blakey, 2020). In 2016, the Netherlands extended the AID to elderly who are not terminally ill, rather feel they have lived a full fulfilling life and do not want to keep living (Blakey, 2020). Also, the Netherlands have reduced the age to 12, allowing children to have a say so about living or dying when diagnosed with a terminal illness. I think we all need to keep in mind, this is not a doctor killing a patient. This is a doctor prescribing the drugs to a patient so the patient can take the medication on their own. 


Blakey, D. (2020). A Comparative View of the Law, Ethics, and Policies Surrounding Medical Aid in Dying in the United States and Netherlands. Washington Unive