Thursday, July 12, 2018
On Monday Falmouth in Massachusetts became the sixth municipality in the state to agree to pass a resolution to request the legislature to legalize allowing terminally ill patients to receive life-ending medication from their medical practitioner. Commonly known as physician-assisted suicide or Death with Dignity, the practice is legal in several United State jurisdictions including Washington, Vermont, and Colorado.
It may be an uphill battle, however. In 2012 voters narrowly defeated a referendum that would have allowed the practice, and in 2017 a medical aid in dying bill did not make it past the public health committee. Right-to-life groups and the Catholic Church are also strongly opposed to the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, fearing it will be used to contain expenditures of costly medical treatments.
There is support for Death with Dignity laws by the medical world, as the American Medical Society declined to reaffirm its opposition to the practice and the Massachusetts Medical Society officially dropped its stance against it.
See Cynthia McCormick, Falmouth Backs Death with Dignity, Cape Cod Times, July 10, 2018.