Should Massachusetts Allow Assisted Suicide?

It's one question voters will weigh in November.


Should terminally ill patients be allowed to be given a lethal drugs at their request?

That's one question Massachusetts voters will be expected to consider when the hit the voting booth in November. The initiative, called "Death with Dignity," received enough signatures to be placed on the ballot in November, according to the state's attorney general.

The proposal in Massachusetts would allow individuals who have been diagnosed with an illness that will cause death within six months to obtain medication to self-administer to end their life.

If passed, Massachusetts would join Oregon, Washington and Montana as the only states that allow assisted suicide.

What do you think about assisted suicide for the terminally ill? Let us know in the comments section.

Is it society's way for not wanting to spend money on health care for the sick and dying or is a compassionate way to let people not suffer in their final days?

kgallagher July 31, 2012 at 10:11 PM
the treatment of the termabley ill is one of the hardest issues that is in the world today and we need to remember that these are human beings who value their own lives and who would choose to live if they were not in these situation. Instead of jumping to give them the option of ending their lives we should stop the suffering. Many of these people are not going to end their lives because of the illness but because of the pain it is causing or will cause. your right we should not tolerate our loved ones to suffer intolerable pain, but we should exhaust every means of making them comfortable first. Unfortunately pain control methods are not perfect and we should try our hardest to make them better. We should also work to better train our medical professionals, many of whom are not up-to- date in modern pain control methods. also studies have found that most people who attempt suicide are suffering from treatable depression. In Oregon only 13% of the patients who applied for a doctor to end their lives had any kind of psychiatric screening. The people who are creating this bill have the best of intentions, but unfortunately it is a Pandora box of problems.
Marianne August 01, 2012 at 03:02 AM
You must have suffered as well, loss of time at work and personal time, let alone all the inconvenience and troubling sceanarios... Seems like you were ending your own pain at he expense of the " the Loved One". Marianne McGuire
Marianne August 01, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Thanks for this logical reply, "pain is a symptom" indeed. Many times, it is a symptom of lack of true care...a gentile voice, a loving hug, a caring word. Death can be painful. Rather than order a jar of pills to bring untimely death, You may want to call a priest to annoint the patient with the Sacrament of the Sick. Many patients and family see immediate relief for the patient during and after the receiving of this Sacrament. Marianne
Jeanne Zarrella August 01, 2012 at 11:40 AM
As an R.N. of 31 yrs., I have had the privelage of being with far too many as they left us, my own mother included. My daughter is a cancer survivor as well. I cannot encourage families enough to get Hospice involved as soon as possible when a patient has a terminal illness. I did it for my own mother so that I could continue to be her daughter instead of her nurse. The other team members available, such as clergy play a huge role in supporting both the patient and family during these difficult times. My mother had someone to "vent" to, without feeling as if she were burdening us. My experience has shown me that very few families are "comfortable" around death, but the support from Hospice helps alleviate this. They are well educated in pain control as well as relief of other symptoms such as nausea. I would rather see Hospice care expanded....petition insurance companies to pay for longer visits etc. or pay for in hospital Hospice care, thus easing the burden on family who may have no choice but to work while still giving appropriate end of life care. I agree no one should suffer but dignity must be maintained and emotions kept in check. MD's also need more education in how to support both the patient and family during this time so the proper supports are maintained.
Sharon August 04, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I spent the last year of my friend's life taking care of him while he was dying from lung cancer. He had Hospice care for the last 6 months before he died. They came a couple of times a week and more often near the end. He had his pain managed. He spent the end of his life visiting with all of the people, in his life, that he cared about. It was not easy, but I learned so much about life from watching him die. He was awake and alert until the night before he died. He went into a coma and passed away with all of his family around him the next morning. Your body begins to shut down the closer you are to death and you sleep a lot more. I thought it might be scary, but that was not the case. He was still my friend, just more tired. Suicide is not the answer. The family members you leave behind will have to struggle with that decision for the rest of their lives. Please vote against the suicide bill. Sharon


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