The Pressure to Die When They Want to Live

A wave of death-with-dignity legislation is making its way across the country. Last year, Colorado followed California and became the sixth state to enact laws allowing physician-assisted suicide. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has also signed a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients, pending approval from Congress.

The trademark claim by lobbyists and other proponents of these laws is that terminally ill patients deserve to choose to end their lives quietly and with dignity instead of with suffering and agony. Palliative care over long periods of time also incurs much greater costs than a single bottle of pills — and insurance companies have already proven that in many instances, they will deny life-extending treatment to patients who want to live instead of die.

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