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Death with Dignity Law

Recently watched “How to Die in Oregon” on HBO, a documentary about the Death with Dignity Law enacted in that state. It was also subsequently enacted in Washington State. It’s called physician assisted because a doctor must certify that the person is terminal to die within six months, and the doctor prescribes the medication that causes the death. It is done with the request, knowledge and consent of the terminally ill patient. There is a residency requirement, but there hasn’t been a flock of people trying to establish residency to qualify under the law. The law is nothing like the services of Dr. Kervorkian, who died last week. Dr. Kervorkian didn’t have any residency requirement that I’m aware of; didn’t require the person to be terminally ill; and helped people who were suffering severely die with dignity. When he tried to help someone who would have trouble administering the final drugs to himself, he was convicted of murder and put in prison for many years. I am for physican assisted end of life assistance, and am sure that hospices in most states provide this service through the administering of morphine over a period of time, that alleviates the suffering and eventually facilitates the person’s death. This is the only humane thing to do, and everyone should have the comfort to know that they can die with dignity in the end.

The Law Offices of Cynthia M. Burke prepares estate planning documents, Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Proxies, which are important to have to ensure that one’s wishes are carried out in the future.