Director of Legal Affairs at Compassion and Choices
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
"I believe the question should be phrased differently. The appropriate question is: Should aid in dying be a legal option available to mentally competent, terminally ill patients? My position is yes.
A fraction of dying patients, even with excellent pain and symptom management, confront a dying process so prolonged and marked by such extreme suffering and deterioration, that they determine that hastening impending death is the least worst alternative. Passage of an aid in dying law, which would empower mentally competent, terminally ill patients to obtain medications from their physician that they could self administer to bring about a peaceful death, would harm no one and would benefit both the relatively few patients in extremis who would make use of it, and a great many more who would draw comfort from knowing this option is available should their dying process become intolerable to them."
Experts MDs, JDs (Lawyers), PhDs and Religious Leaders with significant involvement in end-of-life issues. [Because end-of-life dilemmas require medical, ethical, legal, and in some case religious considerations, we view MDs, PhDs with a bio-ethical focus, and JDs/religious leaders with significant involvement as "experts" in the euthanasia debate.] [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Director of Legal Affairs, Compassion & Choices
Served as lead counsel representing patients and physicians in two federal cases decided by the United States Supreme Court, Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill, 1997
Affiliate Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark School of Law
Has appeared on television and radio discussing end of life care, decision-making and physician-assisted dying, including Crossfire, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, Larry King, and Fox News
Former Attorney at Perkins Coie
Former Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Washington
Former Adjunct Professor of Law, Seattle University