April 15, 2005

A "Death With Dignity" Act for Wisconsin?

NBC15 reports:
Two state lawmakers plan to bring the issue of assisted suicide back to the floor, saying recent high profile cases prove people want more control over their life in death.

State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) says, "This is not a case of whether or not you're going to die, you are going to die. The question is how are you going to die? And this bill gives the person who's dying one more option."

In the wake of the Terri Schiavo saga, Senator Risser says people are worried they don't have enough control over their lives when dying....

[Under the proposal, y]ou must be 18 years old and deemed both mentally competent and terminally ill by 2 doctors. Then after an oral request and a written request signed by 3 witnesses, a physician can prescribe the requested medication.

UW professor of law and bioethics, Alta Charo, poses the question, "Since terminally ill patients are already entitled to have the ventilator turned off so they can suffocate to death, wouldn't it be more merciful to let them choose another method in which death comes more as a friend not as an enemy?"...
According to the article, the prospects for passing this law are quite low.

4 comments:

EddieP said...

[Under the proposal], you must be 18 years old and deemed both mentally competent and terminally ill by 2 doctors. Then after an oral request and a written request signed by 3 witnesses, a physician can prescribe the requested medication.

Geez, couldn't they include a few more obstructions? Then no one would be eligible. Who guides a terminally ill patient through this maze anyway?

Maybe they ought to turn it around. Use the same set of requirements to request continued care, otherwise the plug will be pulled after, say 30 days.

price said...

This seems so complicated. I remember back in the olden days I got terminally sick and my parents did the only sensible thing: they left me in the forest. (They also tried this when I was born and they thought I was handicapped, and again later when they realized I wasn't a girl). And you know something? It didn't work. So it goes with people who want to live.

EddieP said...

price:

At least your parents tried to do the right thing!

Regards

lynn said...

The rules of this bill is nowhere near as dificult as watching someone you love go through the pain and struggle of the end of a terminal disease.