In a recent Reuter’s article written by Scott Malone entitled: Vermont set to become third U.S. state to allow assisted suicide, is reported that on Monday Vermont lawmakers approved a physician-assisted suicide bill to allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who want to die.
The bill awaits to be signed into law by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin who has indicated support for the measure. He believes this is the right thing to do, which would offer Vermonters who face terminal illness at the end of life a choice to control their destiny and avoid unnecessary suffering.
Doctor-assisted suicide has been already legalized in Oregon and Washington in voter referendums.
The procedure of a doctor-assisted suicide has some safeguards. Two doctors, the patient’s primary physician and the consulting doctor, must make the medical determination that their patient is suffering from a terminal illness and is capable of making an informed decision to request death-inducing drugs. Under the bill the patient has to request the drugs twice, with 15 days separating the first and second requests. Moreover, the patients must apply the drugs to themselves only.