In 2002, the Netherlands successfully passed the law on termination of life on request and assisted suicide, which legalized euthanasia at the national level. He has always been at the forefront of this issue, and the progressive nation has allowed some form of euthanasia since the 1970s. The conditions for receiving medical treatment are quite strict. It allows children from the age of 12 to apply, and each patient (unlike Belgium) must have a medical diagnosis of an incurable illness or a „permanent psychiatric illness“ (medically diagnosed mental health condition) to be considered. Debates about the ethics of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide date back to ancient Greece and Rome. After the development of ether, doctors began to advocate the use of anesthetics to relieve the pain of death. In 1870, Samuel Williams first proposed using anesthetics and morphine to intentionally end a patient`s life. For the next 35 years, debates raged in the United States over euthanasia, leading to an Ohio bill legalizing euthanasia in 1906, which was ultimately defeated. [11] Few countries in the world have legalized euthanasia, but the number has increased recently. The practice of drug-assisted suicide and euthanasia – in which a doctor administers lethal drugs on demand – has been legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg since the 2000s, and has been practiced in Switzerland since the 1980s, allowing only the former. Colombia legalized euthanasia in 2015 and assisted suicide this year, and both types also became legal in Canada in 2015. In the United States, legal and ethical debates over euthanasia have become more prominent in the case of Karen Ann Quinlan, who fell into a coma after allegedly mixing sedatives with alcohol and biologically surviving in a „persistent vegetative state“ for 9 years, even after the New Jersey Supreme Court approved the removal of a ventilator. This case sparked widespread public concern about „lives not worth living“ and the possibility of at least voluntary euthanasia if it could be determined that the patient would not have wanted to live in this condition.

[17] In April 2019, New Jersey became the 7th U.S. state to allow euthanasia after the Governor of New Jersey signed the law and went into effect on August 1, 2019. [4] There are various arguments for not using euthanasia in public health. Frequently cited reasons for not advocating euthanasia are: Euthanasia is legal in Montana by a state Supreme Court ruling. In Baxter v. Montana (2009), the Montana Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that state law allows terminally ill Montanians to request lethal drugs from a doctor under existing laws in 2009. The Montana state attorney general appealed to the Montana Supreme Court, but the court upheld the lower court`s decision on state law by a five-to-two decision. However, the court limited the scope of the decision by failing to determine whether the state constitution protected the law. [24] In Barber v. The 1983 Superior Court granted two doctors a family`s request to remove the two ventilators and intravenous feeding and drinking tubes from a comatose patient.

The doctors were charged with murder even though they had done what the family wanted. The court ruled that all charges should be dropped because the treatments were all ineffective and incriminating. Stopping treatment, even if it ends life, is morally and legally permissible and is considered passive euthanasia. Capable patients or their surrogates may decide to discontinue treatments, usually after treatments have proven ineffective, painful or distressing. [14] The Massachusetts Death with Dignity Initiative, a vote to legalize euthanasia, was narrowly defeated in the 2012 general election, with 51% of voters opposing the proposal. These are the jurisdictions where euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal. We will go into the details of each later in the article. Two companion bills to legalize the practice were introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate in 2017, but have not progressed. [67] The Arizona State Legislature has repeatedly passed bills since 2003 to legalize physician-assisted suicide and patient-controlled painkiller dosing. Each year from 2017 to 2020, an accompanying bill for assisted suicide was introduced simultaneously in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but did not progress.

[46] Euthanasia, practiced in Canada, Belgium, Colombia and the Netherlands, is a practice in which another person (usually a doctor) acts to cause death. Euthanasia is illegal in the United States, while assisted dying is currently permitted in ten states and the District of Columbia. Involuntary euthanasia applies in particular when a patient`s consent is not obtained prior to medical assistance in dying – even if the patient could have consented to it. Either the patient did not agree or was not asked for consent. Involuntary euthanasia is currently illegal worldwide. Controversies over the legalization of this practice usually stem from concerns about its overlap with manipulative circumstances or family members; inaccurate forecasting, accurate death certificates, unequal access to health care, financial problems, the Werther effect, promoting the extension of the practice to people with disabilities, the deaths of people with disabilities in places like Canada who have the back of their heads due to a lack of social support, evidence of abuse in other jurisdictions where SAP is permitted, and ableism in general. Opponents see these factors as legitimate reasons for maintaining medical assistance in dying illegal. In 2015, the Colombian government legalized euthanasia. Even after federal courts decriminalized physician-assisted suicide in 1997, doctors could potentially be prosecuted by enacting laws punishing so-called „clemency killings.“ Since 2018, it is also legal for parents to resort to assisted suicide and euthanasia for their children from the age of 6. On April 8, 2021, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act after the bill passed the New Mexico legislature and legalized assisted suicide in the state.

The law allows terminally ill patients living six months or less to request lethal medications. Two medical experts must agree on the patient`s diagnosis, and the patient must undergo a mental fitness screening to receive lethal medication. There is a waiting period of 48 hours, after which the patient must take the drug himself. The law entered into force on June 18, 2021. [35] Like Belgium, Switzerland has a very permissive environment for assisted suicide. All forms of euthanasia are illegal, but it is legal for a person to administer a lethal dose of medication. Because the role of a doctor is ill-defined in the country, non-hospitals have intervened as organizations where individuals can request and receive the help they need. In 1999, the State of Texas passed the Advance Directives Act. Under the law, Texas hospitals and physicians have the right, in certain situations, to remove life-sustaining measures, such as mechanical ventilation, from terminally ill patients if such treatment is deemed both unnecessary and inappropriate. This is sometimes called „passive euthanasia.“ More recently, Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) has twice introduced legislation legalizing physician-assisted suicide: first in 2015 and again in 2017.

In any event, the bill was heard by the House of Commons Health and Social Services Committee and then deferred to the following year`s meeting. In 2018, the House Health and Social Services Committee passed the bill by a vote of 3 to 2, with 2 abstentions and sent it back to the Judiciary Committee, where it was again stalled. [45] Passive euthanasia is becoming more common. Germany codified the language by law. Although it is not the law of the land in Ireland, experts, analysts and journalists believe that, just like the legalization of abortion in the country, euthanasia could easily be next on the list of new legal activities in the very Catholic country.