To End Our Days: The Social, Legal and Political Dimensions of the End-of-Life Debate

To End Our Days: The Social, Legal and Political Dimensions of the End-of-Life Debate. Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project. November 21, 2013.

In recent years, questions concerning the end of life have become the subject of intense public debate and disagreement. Legislatures and courts, religious leaders and scientists, citizens and patient advocates have all weighed in on issues ranging from whether the terminally ill should have the right to take their own lives to how much treatment and sustenance those in the last stages of life should receive. Much of the controversy centers on physician-assisted suicides, called “aid in dying” by some supporters, in which a terminally ill patient is able to end his or her own life with the help of medical professionals. In the last 20 years, four states, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont, have legalized physician-assisted suicide, and at least a half dozen others have considered the issue. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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