Assisted Suicide: A Global Debate

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We’ve already noted the international consideration of — and hesitance toward — assisted suicide legalization.  The latest proof of this global debate comes from India.

According to a report from the Economic Times of India, proponents of assisted suicide are pressing the Indian justice system to rule in favor of legalizing the practice of “passive euthanasia.”  As a result of this pressure, the Indian Supreme Court has requested the opinion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reportedly, the courts have currently ruled out “active” assisting of suicide, citing fear that family members may misuse the practice for ulterior motives, but a court case has forced consideration of legalizing living will requests to not utilize life support technology.  

While the government has circulated a bill which will do away with suicide as a criminal offense, the Solicitor General of India requested more time from the court to respond.  They will have to issue their thoughts by February 1st, so there will be more to come on this story.

We would like to note that this intense hesitation doesn’t even reach the realm of physician assisted suicide under consideration in Maryland.  This is a worldwide debate, and we find ourselves all over the place when it comes to finding the correct answer.  Let this fact provide perspective as you help us advocate against assisted suicide.  Once again, we see that this is far from settled.

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