At the same time, large numbers of people, particularly among those less privileged in society, would be at significant risk of harm.
Perhaps for these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that governments not consider assisted suicide and euthanasia until they have demonstrated the availability and practice of palliative care for all their citizens.
And perhaps least understood, for anyone who is dying in discomfort, it is currently legal in any U. state to receive palliative sedation, wherein the dying person is sedated so discomfort is relieved during the dying process.
Thus, there is already a legal recourse for painful deaths.
First, after addressing common misunderstandings, we examine fear and bias toward disability, and the deadly interaction of assisted suicide and our profit-driven health care system.
Second, we review the practice of assisted suicide in Oregon, the first U. state to legalize it, and debunk the merits of the so-called Oregon model.These factors include the secrecy in which assisted suicide operates today, even where it is legal; the lack of robust oversight and the absence of investigation of abuse; the reality of who uses it; the dangers of legalization to further erode the quality of the U. health care system; and its potential for other significant harms.In view of this reality, we address many of the disability-related effects of assisted suicide, while also encompassing the larger social context that inseparably impacts people with disabilities as well as the broader public.These alternatives do not raise the serious difficulties of legalizing assisted suicide.Moreover, anyone with a chronic but non-terminal illness is not eligible for assisted suicide in either Oregon or Washington State.By detailing significant problems with Oregon’s supposed safeguards, we raise some of its real dangers, particularly for people with depression and other psychiatric disabilities.Third and finally, we explore the ways that so-called “narrow” assisted suicide proposals can easily expand.Assisted suicide would have many unintended consequences.A note about terminology: The words used in this policy debate are controversial.This article focuses primarily on conditions in the United States, though much of our discussion also applies in other countries.In short, we must separate our private wishes for what we each may hope to have available for ourselves some day—a hope that often fails to understand how assisted suicide actually operates—and, rather, focus on the significant dangers of legalizing assisted suicide as public policy in our society today.