Dying Right: The Death with Dignity Movement by Daniel Hillyard

By Daniel Hillyard

Dying Right offers an summary of the demise With Dignity circulate, a background of the way and why Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide, and an research of the way forward for physician-assisted suicide. enticing the query of the way to stability a patient's experience concerning the correct solution to die, a physician's function as a healer, and the state's curiosity in combating killing, Dying Right captures the moral, criminal, ethical, and clinical complexities considering this ongoing debate.

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These findings were unaffected by religious 32 Dying Right preference: physician “aid in dying” as a legal concept was favored by 67 percent of Protestants and 66 percent of Roman Catholics surveyed, as compared to 68 percent of the total public. Moreover, lesser educated and lowerincome people were only slightly less likely to favor euthanasia. The Hemlock Society, founded in California in 1980, had grown to be the most widely recognized organization fighting for the right to die. The organization had promoted many battles in courts and legislatures around the country and was greatly responsible for legal changes permitting the withholding and withdrawing of life-sustaining medical treatment and the use of living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care.

The campaign was part of the Hemlock Society’s national agenda, and for the first time in an initiative effort nearly half of the money came from outside the state (Public Disclosure Commission 1991; Simon 1991a, c). Of the top forty-four contributions to the Washington Hemlock PAC, which ranged from $500 to $2000, only three were from local donors (Public Disclosure Commission 1991). Given the nationwide support, including donations from members and chapters of the Hemlock Society, the campaign chest for Initiative 119 swelled to a record level, making it the most successful fundraising effort supporting any state initiative since record-keeping began in 1975 (Ostrom 1991).

The power shift that occurred as informed consent and similar ethical principles transformed physicians’ practices left paternalism largely abandoned (Darval 1993; Jonsen 1993; Griffiths et al. 1998). For example, physicians have abandoned the assumption that patients do not really want to know what is wrong with them or that they cannot possibly understand. According to the American Hospital Association, about 70 percent of deaths occur after discussion to forgo or withdraw treatment (Kolata 1997).

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