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Death With Dignity States

Death With Dignity States


"Death with Dignity", a euphemism for physician-assisted suicide, remains a hotly debated issue in the United States. This practice, which allows competent adults with a terminal illness prognosis of six months or less to request prescription medication for ending their life, is legal only in a select few American states.

  • Presently, a total of nine jurisdictions - eight states and the District of Columbia - have legal provisions for "Death with Dignity". These include California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Montana.
  • Oregon holds the distinction of being the pioneer in "Death with Dignity" legislation, having passed the Death With Dignity Act back in 1994.
  • Of the remaining 41 states, the majority have no active legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Only four states—Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania—are actively considering legislation on this contentious matter.
  • The most recent states to welcome "Death with Dignity" by passing supportive legislation include Hawaii (2018 and 2019), Maine (2019), and New Jersey (2019).
  • In states currently without "Death with Dignity" laws, public sentiment is increasingly pushing towards a more robust discussion and potential legal adjustments. This indicates a shifting public consensus – towards promoting patient autonomy over their life and death decisions.

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