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POLL: 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 is . 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 the question? Join the conversation by commenting below and voting in our poll.

Dennis Dunnum August 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Well, in fact, we ARE very far behind medicine in Canada! You've socialized yours; we get what we can afford. I ran AIDS organizations back in the 80's and 90's - our clients may have been free of most pain but their lives, in many cases, were a lethargic waiting game for the next opportunistic infection. Many chose to die on their own terms, with the help of their friends - legal or not! Many times, the assistance of a knowledgeable physician would have made that process MUCH less onerous on both the patient and his/her helping friends. An additional issue is that of increased government scrutiny of doctors who provide more pain meds than our puritanical-based system deems necessary - suffering is good for the soul. And as many here have noted - pain is not always physical. Why would you deny them that choice?
RS Connor August 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Contrary to some comments, this bill IS about suicide. I do not know what else you call killing yourself. "Death with Dignity" is simply a pretty picture you paint over an ugly reality. It is not dignified. If you believe this is something you want to do, to end your life- I disagree but it IS within your power - - but let's not drag the medical profession into it, please. If there is really nothing wrong with this "policy" then tell me why the cause of death on the death certificate will be your terminal illness and not the overdose of drugs you took. That is a LIE. Plain and simple. No more than getting in a fatal car crash while having the same illness and putting your illness as the cause of death. If there is truly "nothing wrong" with this approach - then ask yourself why you have to lie about it. Because deep down, and whether you want to admit it or not, you know this is wrong. Guess what - everyone dies. How we treat people toward the end of their life is what matters. If you want to join them in their depression and despair that their life is "not worth living" then I am not sure what favor you are doing them. Having given 24hr care to my dying mother, in our home, I can tell you that she knew her life was worth living because we reinforced that to her.
Susan Belmore August 29, 2012 at 04:35 PM
There is an excellent Opinion piece from the Boston Globe titled Jack Kevorkian comes to town.....Should Mass. voters approve physician-assisted suicide? By Tom Keane. Please check it out. I think he is right on the money!
Mary Ellen Dixon September 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM
6:03 pm on Friday, September 14, 2012 This law requires NO ONE to utilize it. Your definition of "Dignity" and your beliefs may be different than mine, that is perfectly acceptable. However, what is not acceptable is your not allowing me the choice to follow my beliefs if they are not the same as yours. This law is about choice, no one is imposing this law on you. Please just respect my beliefs and vote with respect for others beliefs
Mary Ellen Dixon September 14, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I have spent the last 35 years working with those who are challenged among us. (I avoid the word 'disabled' as I find it disparaging to those who are just different). I have been in support of Question 2 since it first came to Massachusetts, The law can only be used to hasten the death of someone with a terminal diagnosis and a prognosis of less than 6 months to live. I find your suggestion that the option of "starving oneself" as adequate as abhorrent and cruel and unusual punishment to someone with a terminal disease. Also, if you research palliative care, you will find that it not effective in all cases, e.g. pain in phantom limbs. I would appreciate if you would cite your source that the Oregon and Washington data is compromised as I have not found this in my research of any site regarding this proposed law. No one, other than the patient, can utilize this law; and the elderly and challenged, the most vulnerable in our society, will never be coerced into utilizing this law. In actuality, they will be forbidden from using it unless they have a terminal illness with less than 6 months to live. PLEASE avoid be taken in by fallacies, untruths and misrepresentation of this Ballot question. You have the choice not to utilize it, just don't take away that option from the rest of Massachusetts.

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