Every year, thousands of terminally ill individuals have died agonizing deaths despite their wishes to end their lives peacefully. This injustice compels the secular community to speak out in defense of human dignity, religious liberty, and individual freedom.
Medical aid-in-dying allows individuals with confirmed diagnoses of six months or less to live to choose the time and manner of their own death by self-administering medication that would painlessly hasten their death.
No one with a terminal illness should be forced to suffer against their wishes. Legalizing aid in dying empowers terminally ill patients to have autonomy and control at the end of life.
The option to request medical aid in dying has been available to terminally ill patients in Oregon for 20 years without a single report of abuse or other issues and is now legal in five other states. Oregon’s law, which has become a model for other states, has numerous safeguards to prevent abuse, ensure that the patient makes the choice voluntarily, and protects the patient’s life insurance by requiring that the terminal illness is listed as the cause of death.
The fiercest opponent of ‘death with dignity’ legislation has been the Catholic Church, which has spent millions to spread misinformation and fear surrounding this issue. Our government is not and should not be beholden to the doctrines of any church, and the rights of patients should likewise not be hindered by the religious beliefs of others.
It is unconscionable to deny a dying person the opportunity to exercise personal autonomy on this most private and personal issue, and it is unconstitutional for the religious beliefs of others to limit a patient’s choices.
Legalize medical aid-in-dying in your state by contacting your state lawmakers and urging them to take action.