New Life in the Assisted-Death Debate

Margaret Pabst Battin

in Ending Life

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140279
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850280 | DOI:
New Life in the Assisted-Death Debate

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In the years since Dr. Jack Kevorkian went to jail, public involvement with the issues of physician-assisted suicide and voluntary active euthanasia may seem to have subsided in the United States. Many other countries have been concerned with end-of-life issues, including Canada, the Netherlands, Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Scandinavian countries, but the change is most evident in the United States. This chapter looks at the ways in which new strategies of political and legal activism by both proponents and opponents of legalization are tending to escalate the debate. It examines the controversy surrounding an Oregon legislation that would prohibit the dispensing or distribution of scheduled drugs for the purpose of causing, or assisting in causing, the suicide or euthanasia of any individual. It discusses a series of methods of producing death that can be employed without the assistance of a physician and without prescription-controlled drugs, though they will still assure a gentle, easy death. These techniques are generally referred to as “self-deliverance new technologies,” or “NuTech”.

Keywords: NuTech; United States; Jack Kevorkian; physician-assisted suicide; voluntary active euthanasia; scheduled drugs; Oregon; prescription-controlled drugs; self-deliverance

Chapter.  8149 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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