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More than a dozen states have introduced death-with-dignity legislation or pledged to do so this year, according to the nonprofit advocacy organization Compassion & Choices. A previously-introduced bill in New Jersey has already cleared the first chamber and is expected to make it to Gov. Chris Christie (R). Laws allowing physicians to assist terminally ill patients end their lives is currently legal in only four states and one county in a fifth. Only one of those states — Vermont — legalized physician-assisted suicide through legislative action. The others did so either via ballot measures or court actions.
While public support for aid-in-dying laws has increased, according to the Gallup polling organization. A Gallup survey in 2014 found that 69 percent of Americans back such measures, the highest ever figure in such polls.
Nonetheless, opponents of doctor-assisted aid-in-dying cite multiple concerns. Some religious groups oppose such bills as counter to church doctrine. Advocates for the disabled argue that their population is vulnerable to doctors prescribing death-inducing drugs for long-term disabilities that are not terminal. And while the California Medical Association has not yet taken an official stance on SB 128, CMA spokesperson Molly Weedn noted in a statement that physician groups have historically opposed such laws.
Even with the 2014 Gallup survey results, do you think the ‘Aid in Dying’ movement will take hold in more states?
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The above article and image are courtesy of StateNet Capitol Journal.