Talk:Assisted suicide in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject United States (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Death / Suicide  (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Death, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Death on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
This article is supported by the Suicide task force (marked as Mid-importance).
 

Case for Medical Aid in Dying Wiki Page[edit]

Assisted Suicide is a felony across most of the United States. It is explicitly prohibited[1] by statute in 42 states and prohibited by common law in an additional six states and the District of Columbia. Assisted suicide is also prohibited in every state where where aid in dying, a medical option for terminally ill adults which allows them to shorten the dying process, is authorized. Elected lawmakers across the country have voted for or sponsored laws allowing medical aid in dying, while at the same time maintaining prohibitions on assisted suicide.


Therefore, Medical Aid in Dying and Assisted Suicide or Assisted suicide in the United States merit separate entries in Wikipedia.


Medical aid in dying is a medical practice as per the peer-reviewed Journal of Palliative Medicine and as per the American College of Legal Medicine, American Medical Student Association, American Medical Women’s Association, American Public Health Association, the California Medical Association, the Maryland State Medical Society, Kokua Mau (the Hawaii Medical Society), the Colorado Medical Society, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. (see article for references)


Medical Aid in Dying and Assisted Suicide or Assisted suicide in the United States merit separate entries in Wikipedia.


The Columbia Journalism Review recently reported from Colorado[2], where a years-long debate ended with Colorado voters approving medical aid in dying in November 2016. It showed the trend it away from calling medical aid in dying suicide because suicide is pejojrative and denotes a person who is mentally ill. This is the reason the American Public Health Association notes that “[p]rofound psychological differences distinguish suicide from actions under” laws authorizing medical aid in dying, and concludes “[m]edical and legal experts have recognized that the term “suicide” or “assisted suicide” is inappropriate when discussing the choice of a mentally competent terminally ill patient to seek medications that he or she could consume to bring about a peaceful and dignified death.”[3]


Medical Aid in Dying and Assisted Suicide or Assisted suicide in the United States merit separate entries in Wikipedia.


The Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California and Colorado laws which authorize medical aid in dying expressly state that: “actions taken in accordance with [the Acts] shall not, for any purpose, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing or homicide, under the law.” The same is true of aid-in-dying laws currently under debate in 20 or more U.S. states.


For these reasons, I have uploaded a separate entry that properly describes the medical practice of aid in dying in the United States. The current assisted suicide page should remain but only refer to cases of true "assisted suicide." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmlsmal1127 (talkcontribs) 21:26, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Period of time between 1906 movement and 1980s?[edit]

Isn't there any information available about what happened in this political movement in between the events of 1906 and the Kevorkian era beginning in 1989? That's a long period of time for the article to be silent. Bry9000 (talk) 23:18, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Assisted Suicide in the Mid-20th Century[edit]

I suggest adding a paragraph under History that includes events related to assisted suicide that occurred between 1906 and 1980. Certain important events include: 1930- there is an increase in popular support for assisted suicide during The Great Depression, 1937- the founding of the National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia, 1967- the first living will is written by Louis Kutner, 1972- US Senate holds first national hearings on euthanasia.

There are multiple timelines of events that go into detail about this time period and would be useful to the user because as of now there is a large time gap in the country's history of assisted suicide. http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/assisted-suicide-in-the-us http://www.rtl.org/legislation/ProlifeLaws/assistedsuicide_chronology.html

Laurafisher17 (talk) 20:57, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Vermont Legalization[edit]

Could somebody please update this article and the map to reflect Vermont's new legalization of physician-assisted dying? Source: http://rt.com/usa/vermont-assisted-suicide-legalize-591/ Liberal92 (talk) 01:00, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Terminology not neutral[edit]

Referring to this process as "physician-assisted suicide" is not neutral. A similar bias going the other way would be use of the term "death with dignity." The neutral term appears to be "physician aid in dying." Vermont, Washington, and Oregon clarify in their code that this process does not entail a suicide, which makes the term not just biased but inaccurate as per those states. (I'm not sure about the NM and MT court cases.) I'd like to make a redirect from physician-assisted suicide to the main page of physician aid in dying, then change terminology to respect neutral tone. Thoughts? Jordan 04:45, 24 February 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jordanotto (talkcontribs)

Well Wiktionary:suicide seems to suggest that one is killing oneself. So a cold-blooded assessment is whether the physician-assisted part is "legal murder" or "assisted suicide."
But, sure, there is a politically correct term that makes it seems like one is being a Good Samaritan by doing this.
To me, the concept smacks a bit of the ending of Soylent Green.
Having said that, physicians have been doing this, sub rosa, for a long while. 99% of the time, their motives were cold-bloodedly objective. The patient had lost all pretense to a "quality of life" and the physician deliberately o/d-ed him. This wasn't "recorded" anywhere. One wonders about someone who has a lot of money "deciding" he'd be better off dead. It raises certain ethical questions that go unanswered by some statutes or proposed ones.
It does seem to help the Medicare/Social Security problem somewhat. I can see why the federal government might be in favor. Student7 (talk) 21:32, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Use of "assisted suicide" to refer to aid in dying is inaccurate in fourth distinctive ways. First, it was coined by Catholic activists disputing Oregon's Measure 16 in 1994 - so it carries a political bias. Second, the laws in Oregon, Washington and Vermont each do not contain the term "assisted suicide" but use aid in dying. Third, assisting a suicide remains illegal in all three states - and also Montana and New Mexico. No state attorney general or county district attorney has charged any physician or pharmacist who acted within the aid in dying laws of the three states. Finally, describing people who use aid in dying, such as Brittany Maynard, suicides grossly misrepresents their experience and devalues both their lives and deaths. Continued usage of the biased and inaccurate term should be amended throughout Wikipedia. Pdx97217 (talk) 03:31, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Inaccurate terminology[edit]

Assisting a suicide in Oregon is a class C felony, assault in the fourth degree, listed at ORS 163.193. U.S. district attorneys routinely convict people of assisting suicide.[4] Oregon law specifically distinguishes assisting a suicide from "death with dignity" and ORS 127.880 s.3.14. states, "Nothing in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 shall be construed to authorize a physician or any other person to end a patient's life by lethal injection, mercy killing or active euthanasia. Actions taken in accordance with ORS 127.800 to 127.897 shall not, for any purpose, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing or homicide, under the law. [1995 c.3 s.3.14]"[5]Pdx97217 (talk) 23:02, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

References

Missing info[edit]

HOW MANY people have committed assisted suicide in USA? HOW MANY in Oregon? WHY doesn't the article say??? HandsomeMrToad (talk) 22:32, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Assisted suicide in the United States. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 03:20, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Colorado[edit]

Can someone please add Colorado legalization to the map? 109.67.48.38 (talk) 06:45, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

 Done - Thanks for noticing! NickCT (talk) 21:19, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Dupont writer (talk) 21:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Medical aid in dying[edit]

The topic Medical aid in dying is practically a subset of the other topic; over half of it is just a copy of the existing Assisted suicide in the United States article; and the portion that differs isn't specific to medical aid in dying—it's equally applicable to assisted suicide in general. Basically, this is a WP:REDUNDANTFORK. Largoplazo (talk) 20:41, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Copying this from your comment on the MAID page: Historically many people have called aid in dying “assisted suicide,” so there is overlap. However: 1) as more states pass these laws more people will be researching the actual medical term that’s in all of the legislation, “aid in dying;” 2) there are already complaints on the Assisted Suicide in the US page, in the Talk section, that this distinction matters, and Wiki should reflect that; and 3) as Americans make the transition from “assisted suicide” to “aid in dying” in their terminology – as we have shifted to “climate change,” “people of color” etc. – it helps to have both pages there referring to each other.Jmlsmal1127 (talk) 20:50, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
@Jmlsmal1127: - re "more people will be researching the actual medical term that’s in all of the legislation, “aid in dying;”" - That sounds like a rationale for a redirect. Not a separate article. NickCT (talk) 20:59, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Support Merge - Agree with nom. This should definitely be merged. I sorta understand what User:Jmlsmal1127's attempting, but it strikes me that creating the new article is mostly WP:SOAPBOXING for a neologism.
How about a minor compromise here? I suggest we merge, then change the lede sentence of this article from -
Physician-assisted suicide is defined as suicide committed with the aid of another person, sometimes a doctor.
to
Assisted suicide (also referred to as medical aid in dying) in the United States is the practice of providing aid or assistance to a person trying to tend their life.
How does that sound? NickCT (talk) 20:58, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
What probably needs to happen is for the Assisted Suicide in the US page to be revised. As noted, "assisted suicide" is an actual felony in most states and state laws that allow for aid in dying say explicitly that "assisted suicide" is STILL against the law, even after the aid in dying law passes. It makes sense that the Assisted Suicide in the US Page refers readers to the Medical Aid in Dying page, even if there is a lot of overlap between the two. The change that needs to happen is to the Assisted Suicide in the US page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dupont writer (talkcontribs) 21:47, 1 December 2016 (UTC) Dupont writer (talk) 21:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
@Dupont writer: - A reasonable point. But WP doesn't define things on a strictly legal basis. In other words, just because legislation draws a distinction between two things it calls "medical aid in dying" and "assisted suicide" doesn't mean WP should. If the majority of sources treat "assisted suicide" and "medical aid in dying" as the same subject, WP should too. NickCT (talk) 05:30, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This topic is not U.S.-specific. For example, the first sentence of Dignitas (Swiss non-profit organisation) reads:

    Dignitas is a Swiss nonprofit member's society providing assisted/accompanied suicide to those members of the organisation who suffer from terminal illness and/or severe physical and/or mental illnesses, supported by (of the organization independent) qualified Swiss doctors.

See also Euthanasia in the Netherlands, where "euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are not punishable if the attending physician acts in accordance with criteria of due care".
(Emphases added.) Narky Blert (talk) 21:12, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
  • @Narky Blert: Despite its title, the exclusive scope of the content of the current Medical aid in dying article is the United States. I didn't see any point in moving it to Medical aid in dying in the United States, though I could have properly done so, before proposing merging from there, and then you wouldn't have had your basis for objecting. Or, alternatively, I could have called for merging Medical aid in dying to Assisted suicide, my motion could have passed, the content could all have then been merged to Assisted suicide, and then someone could have looked at it there and said, "Hey, this is all very detailed U.S. information, I'm going to move it to Assisted suicide in the United States, and then move of the material to Assisted suicide would turn out to have been an unnecessary diversion from the final outcome.So I propose interpreting my request in the context of the content: merging the exclusively U.S.-related content from the other article to this U.S.-specific article. Largoplazo (talk) 21:39, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Oppose merge. There are big political implications in this decision, and it should not be taken lightly. "Assisted suicide" and "aid in dying" are importantly different things, though their histories do overlap somewhat. As far as I know, every U.S. state with an "aid in dying law" (which is, I believe, five) explicitly outlaws suicide, and the law explicitly prohibits a physician from "assisting." (This is certainly the case in Oregon, and I believe it's true of all the other states as well.) From a distance, these distinctions might sound like mere technicalities, but they make a tremendous difference in practice, as the history of each law exhibits. The Euthanasia in the Netherlands article makes it clear why we need to have separate articles for "aid in dying" laws; the procedure that has apparenty been legal in the Netherlands since 2002, if I'm not mistaken, has never been legal in any of the United States. Readers about the laws will be interested in such distinctions, and should not have to battle confusing article titles as they learn about them. (And as a related point, this article should probably be stubbified and most of its contents moved to an article about aid in dying.) -Pete Forsyth (talk) 18:50, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
You seem to be suggesting that if a topic has a number of variations, some of which happen to be illegal in some places and others of which happen to be legal in some places, then that causes them to be two different topics that should have separate Wikipedia articles. I don't see that that follows. It's kind of like saying that since there are many animals that cannot be legally kept as pets in the United States, or parts of it, instead of just having Pet, we should have separate articles for pets that are kept legally and pets that are kept illegally. Largoplazo (talk) 19:29, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
No, that's not my position at all -- sorry I was unclear. My point is that aid in dying and assisted suicide are sufficiently distinct topics that they should have separate coverage on Wikipedia. As (merely) one piece of evidence for that, I offer the point that various legal jurisdictions recognize a distinction. Five legal jurisdictions in the USA (if I'm not mistaken) permit aid in dying, but do not permit assisted suicide; those positions have, in different states, been adopted by popular, legislative, and judicial means. A better kind of evidence (per Wikipedia's policies on sourcing) would be the content of relevant academic literature. When searching scholar.google.com, I find a number of articles about "aid in dying", and a number of articles about "assisted suicide," and some overlap.
Here's how I see the terms:
  • Aid in dying: The best "umbrella term," as it can be legitimately used to include a variety of approaches.
  • Assisted suicide: Widely used, but used inconsistently in different sources. For instance, some sources refer to "assisted suicide" in Oregon, even though Oregon law is explicit in outlawing suicide, and forbidding physicians to assist in the administration of the poison. The reader is not well served if the varying use is not clearly explained. Best not to use it in the titles of Wikipedia articles; disambiguation pages and redirects can point out the inconsistencies.
  • Euthanasia: Specific term with a well-understood definition.
-Pete Forsyth (talk) 20:57, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Another point to consider: the term "aid in dying" is relatively new, and has been gaining in common usage. Here's a chart of "aid in dying" as a search term in Google News from 2008-2016. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 21:11, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I went through the sources in the Medical Aid in Dying page, and a majority seemed to still describe the issue assisted suicide, rather than the medical aid in dying terminology. It was very close, as the aid in dying term also turned up, but from what the sources were saying this is simply a terminology issue - there is a push to distinguish between suicide and physician aided suicide by using a different term. It was of some note that the "aid in dying" term is almost exclusively used in the literature that is in support of the legislation, while the neutral literature (which also tended to be the mainstream media) went with assisted suicide. (It was interesting that none of the sources seemed to be opposed, but that is a different concern).
The best that I can determine is that "medical aid in dying" - which is the act of prescribing a lethal dose of a drug to a terminally ill patient so that they can take their own life - is indistinguishable from "physician assisted suicide", in which a terminally ill patient is prescribed a lethal dose of a drug so that they can take their own life. There is a difference between PAS and general assisted suicide, as PAS requires a doctor while assisted suicide is a more general term.
Given that he two articles are almost completely identical, I can only see this as a fork to use a specific term, rather than a usable second article. Anything of value in medical aid in dying could be easily merged here, and if there is a distinction to be drawn, this is the place to draw it. - Bilby (talk) 04:47, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Source[edit]

The NYT has a good overview of the national state of assisted suicide in the above link czar 21:24, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Assisted suicide in the United States. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 21:28, 10 July 2017 (UTC)