Medical professional’s aid in dying refers to the assistance given by medical professional to individuals who wish to end their lives.
It is very controversial because it reverses the medical professional’s usual goal, which is to preserve life.
Assisted suicide or physician aid in dying, as it is also known, is legal in:
- Nine (9) US states (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia.
- Under current Dutch law, euthanasia by doctors is only legal in cases of “hopeless and unbearable” suffering.
- In practice this means that it is limited to those suffering from serious medical conditions like severe pain, exhaustion or asphyxia.
- And some other countries.
In countries where this is not legal, medical professionals can provide treatment intended to minimise physical and emotional suffering, but they cannot intentionally hasten death.