Terminally ill patients filled a case to gain the right to physician-assisted suicide services. The New York High Court took up the case and heard arguments. The patients who filed the case mentioned that they want to have the right to end their lives via physician-assisted suicide and receive life-ending drugs as an alternative to their illness getting the best of them.
There are only a few countries in the world where physician-assisted suicide is legal. There, terminally ill people can go and end their suffering. For many years, people in different states from the US asked for this right. This case in New York gives hope to all terminally ill patients that want to have the right to physician-assisted suicide.
In this case, lower courts ruled against the right to assisted suicide. The ones that filed the case want the High Court to dismiss the challenge and they mentioned that existing laws should not apply to people who are suffering from incurable diseases.
“We don’t view this as suicide,” said attorney Edwin Schallert, representing the patients and other plaintiffs including “It’s a medically and ethically appropriate treatment … these are people who wanted to live.”
The state’s attorney stated that physician-assisted suicide is a policy that should be handled by elected lawmakers, not by judges. The judges mentioned that there is a difference between the current ability of terminally ill patients to refuse water and food or life-sustained care and physician-assisted suicide. The thing is with suicide, people won’t have to suffer. When they refuse care and food, they go through terrible pains before they die.
The judges stated that they are going to make a decision in the new months. A legislation for physician-assisted suicide has been introduced. The problem is that it is not expected to get the vote this year. This legislation can allow terminally ill patients to request assisted suicide from their physician.
Two physicians have to certify that the patient is both mentally competent to take this decision and that it has a terminal condition. In the US, only Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, the District of Columbia, and California have laws that allow people to request physician-assisted suicide.
Image Source: Pixabay