Last updated on: 7/23/2013 | Author:

1972 – US Senate Holds First National Hearings on Euthanasia

The US Senate Special Commission on Aging (SCA) holds the first national hearings on death with dignity entitled “Death with Dignity: An Inquiry into Related Public Issues.”

“The SCA hearings, chaired by Senator Frank Church, proved to be a superb opportunity for professionals and laypeople to discuss a range of issues relating to aging and terminal illness, including the evolving doctor-patient relationship and the difficulties about defining death itself. Overall, the hearings showed that Americans were becoming increasingly unhappy about ‘the brutal irony of medical miracles,’ which extended the dying process only to diminish patient dignity and quality of life. Church insisted that the hearings were not about euthanasia, but try as he might, he could not keep the subject from surfacing.”