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February 17th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Should euthanasia be legal?

ALT TEXT

This photo, taken in Brussels, Belgium shows a so-called euthanasia kit, which is available to doctors in some countries, but not in the U.S. The kits must be ordered, picked up, and administered by the doctors themselves. (PHOTO CREDIT: ETIENNE ANSOTTE/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some Canadian doctors want their government to decriminalize euthanasia.

They say that euthanasia is already widely practiced in Quebec's hospitals; and the government should stop ignoring it. They say doctors know when death is "imminent and inevitable" and suggest there should be guidelines for medical professionals to follow in such circumstances.

Those who support what they call dying with dignity say it could apply to patients with a terminal disease like cancer, or babies born with serious medical conditions or seniors whose bodies are simply shutting down on them.

Euthanasia is legal in some countries - including the Netherlands and Belgium - while Switzerland allows doctor-assisted suicide.

Here in the U.S., Washington state and Oregon have laws that allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients. They must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent. There is some support in Montana for a similar rule.

Euthanasia has long been a controversial issue - much like abortion - especially among religious groups. Critics worry that doctor-assisted suicide will pressure people with terminal illnesses - who may be poor or disabled - to end their lives early. Supporters insist it is a dignified way for people who are suffering to go in peace.

One of the most well-known supporters of euthanasia is Jack Kevorkian - who was dubbed Dr. Death. The Michigan doctor served eight years in prison after saying he had assisted in at least 130 suicides.

Here’s my question to you: Should euthanasia be legal?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lisa writes:
I think euthanasia should absolutely be legal. I treat cancer patients, and the some of the suffering I see is heartbreaking. Changing the law would foster the type of end-of-life discussions that are not possible now.

Steena writes:
I have just started nursing school to be an RN. My first rotation has been in nursing homes. After spending time caring for patients whose bodies are failing them and seeing how miserable their lives are, I 100% support euthanasia. Quality of life should trump quantity of life, and for those who disagree, I say spend some time with a terminally ill person.

Loren in Chicago writes:
No, Euthansia should not be legalized. There are too many variables in deciding whether a death is imminent and inevitable and too many ways for persons with bad intent to fix the system to meet their ends.

Jim in Illinois writes:
Many Americans will spend most of their family's financial resources in their last year of life, then die - too often painfully. The current system in the U.S. is broken. But, sorry, I forgot, we should not even think about reforming the medical and health insurance system.

Sarah in Wisconsin writes:
No, euthanasia is murder.

M. writes:
Yes, it should be legal. For those who disagree I urge you to spend three days and nights being fully present at the bedside of four terminally ill patients in hourly rotations at a nursing home. One cannot adequately address this serious matter without witnessing the lives of those who are in the process of dying.

Tom writes:
Yes, Jack. When the vet tells you your dog is terminal and there is no quality of life ahead only suffering, you do the humane thing and put him down. Why shouldn't we show as much love and concern for a human?


Filed under: Euthanasia
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    Yes, Euthanasia should be legal. If I'm on my deathbed in pain and want to end it, I should be able to do so. It's not as if people would HAVE to do it. If they are against it, nobody is forcing them to do it. But if I was old and on my deathbed, I don't think somebody else should make this decision. In my humble option, it should be an available option and should be entirely up to the dying patient.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  2. Rick

    For all politicians ? yes

    February 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  3. Cyle in Dublin, CA

    Absolutely, euthanasia should be an option.

    Anyone who has ever had to watch the suffering and indignity of a loved one in their final days, weeks, months or years should agree.

    I am only 38 and I have signed DNRs and given clear instructions to friends and family that if I am suffering from something incurable... end me. Inoperable cancer, Alzheimer's, severe brain trauma... I won't put my family through years of pain and pity just to live a few more days.

    If there is a chance to leave this life with dignity and self-respect then I want that option to be legal.

    should be noted:
    I'm an atheist, so when I go, I anticipate no afterlife... just snuffed out like a candle. So it amuses me that the groups that should be happiest about death being the doorway to the beyond are the ones who fight euthanasia the most

    February 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  4. Tim

    I feel it should be a person's right to decide. Many people suffer from progressive and painful, incurable illnesses. I think it's cruel to make them endure it if they chose to seek relief. This seems to be the opposite end of the abortion issue. If I was of sound mind and sufferring a painful and slow death, I would hope it would be my decision to end it. Then again my religion tells me that suicide is a sin and I won't be allowed into heaven. Does God want us to suffer the last days of our lives? I'm not sure but man has no right to create a law concerning this. It's between me and my maker.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  5. Mari, Utah

    Yes. People in a FREE Nation should have the right, to end their lives if they .........choose to. People have done this very thing for years, its just been kept a secret.

    Are we free or not? This choice is between a person and God, period.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  6. Greg

    Only for incumbents.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  7. Jim

    Yes I think it should be legal. I have had two parents – my father and my wife's mom – die of lung cancer. Had they had this option a lot of pain and suffering, not only on their part but the family's as well, would have been eased a great deal. We could remember them as they were, not as the ghost of person that they ended their life's journey. Dr. Kavorkian was ahead of his time, but he got us talking about this subject.

    We put down horses, dogs, and other animals when they begin to suffer and call it humane. Yet, we cannot be humane with humans. Interesting.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  8. Mark from Brookeville, MD.

    Modern medicine has done wonders for our population, but one major drawback is the prolonged agony and suffering one may endure because of medical advances that keep them alive, but with no dignity or hope for recovery. So yes, euthanasia should be legalized. But good luck... Between the religious fanatics, insurance companies, and politicians fighting over this, I see no change on the horizon anytime soon.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  9. Lise

    I would like to hear more about the difference between euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. I don't think doctors should be allowed to make the call for a patient that he or she would be better off dead – that is treatment akin to that for an animal, something that I already object to. A critical difference is that a human being, when mentally competent and not under duress, is capable of making such a decision for him or herself. I think doctor-assisted suicide should be available as an option for a more humane death. Perhaps a safeguard against those who would choose to end their lives early out of pressure might be heavy-handed laws against those who suggest such a thing?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  10. Clarice

    Yes, euthanasia should be a choice for the terminally ill who do not want to continue suffering and do not want loved ones to continue suffering. With the federal government meddling in our personal lives more and more over the years, please give us this closing respite. Actually, we shouldn't have to ask.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  11. Kristi AZ

    My grandmother laid in a nursing home bed doped up for years. The hospital just kept her alive even though she didn't want to go on. It was absolute torture. Euthanasia should be an option.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  12. Rob Fox

    Yes, people should be allowed to die with dignity in the manner which they choose. And if they are in a condition where they need outside help to accomplish it, then it should be possible for them to ask for it.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  13. David

    Yes, it should be legal in every state. I have the right to decide if my quality of life is an intolerable burden. To persist in the mindless desire to keep a person alive against their wishes is a crime worse than murder.
    We are more humane with our pets, in this respect, than with our own kind.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  14. Joe

    So once you were to legalize euthanasia, what's stopping a depressed 18 year old college freshman from deciding to go to the doctor and commit state-sanctioned suicide? Wait till the ACLU gets a hold of any proposal of rules such as, "you must be terminally ill to legally kill yourself." Can't treat people uneqully, can we?

    Come on America. When did we become the country of taking the easy way out? You've got doctors telling the government they'd rather help people die than try to save them, and fat people telling the airlines they should have fat-people seats rather than putting in the work to lose weight, and everyone running to the government telling them to give us more welfare cause that will solve the economic crisis.

    What happened to the America where brother fought brother to end slavery? If we had been so accommodating back then, where would we be?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  15. Mark

    Yes. Its legal that we can keep people alive for as long as the family sees fit using our advanced medical technology only to watch them suffer and finally die on morphine in great pain. But it is illegal for them to decide to end their lives in dignity and peace. Sounds like a simple question to me.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  16. Jim , CT

    A great question and one we should focus on as a society. Absolutely, euthanasia should be legal...we tend to treat our pets better than we do our elderly and terminally ill. We should also change the definition of "death" from lack of a beating heart to lack of brain activity...that would then free relatives and doctors to at least let those who are in a coma and have no reasonable prognosis for recovery to compassionately slip away.
    Now, if we could just get religion out of the way, we could get it done.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  17. Gary X

    To all the religious people who want to criminalize euthanasia – LEAVE ME ALONE! It is my life and if I want to end in a dignified manner it is none of your business. Let your faith guide your own actions, not how others should go about their private life – or death.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  18. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    We will someday soon be able to keep a body alive for over a hundred years. Modern medicine will allow people to lay in bed and in pain for an additional year or two. But I am a moral person who believes in the sanctity of life so I say hang the expense, let’s do it.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  19. Lynn Wier

    Jack, it is my belief that in certain cases Euthanasia should be legal in the USA. I watched my Mom lay in a hospital bed for 4 days suffering from COPD that was so advanced she was only staying alive by an oxygen mask. She did not open here eyes, she did even move. The brain was the only thing working telling the body to gasp for air it was not a comfortable scene. Then after the 4th day the hospital called and said they were sending her back to the nursing home and Hospice would meet me at the the nursing home.

    When I arrived there was no Hospice yet and my Mother was laying on the stretcher with two paramedics who brought her there standing beside her. She had passed in the hallway. I asked them to cover her up guys and they did. There are many cases more painful than this but this is just one that I observed first hand. It just does not make sense to me that we will give our pets the option to die with dignity or without horrible pain but not ourselves or relatives.

    If a "Power of Health" agreement is signed by the sick person prior to the illness and all immediate family agrees Euthanasia should be allowed if administered by a physician. It is only moral and right. No one should be allowed to suffer.

    Lynn from Texas

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  20. Ruth

    Yes, I think it should be legalized.

    Seeing first hand a loved one who is termanilly ill, dying a slow death – laying still in one position, their body cold to the touch, even with blankets covering them, with a blank stare, with a large diaper wrapped around them, tubes inserted in them, the trouble breathing with phlemn that cannot be coughed up, or taken out by suction – not being able to turn around, to lay in a fetal position until someone can painfully turn them around. I know if he could have spoken to me, he would have wanted to go peacefully, and most of all with dignity. I gladly took care of him, and he handled his illness with great braveness for as long as he could. It broke my heart to see him lose it – there is certainly a time when you know your loved one has suffered enough, and help is welcomed to relieve their suffering.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  21. Cheryl Salamanca

    My father had a stroke in the back of his brain with bleeding. The doctors said that it was the one that they could not go in there with clot busters or do surgery. My Father also had Parkinson's disease. We were told by a team of Neurologists that we never saw, just what they wrote and a nurse practitioner who told us their opinions that death was inniment and inevitable within the next three to six months. He needed to be moved to a care center. He was moved to the care center. The doctor that took care of patients at the care center talked to my Mom, my Father's decision maker when he cannot make decisions, and talked her into doing "Comfort Care". When you are all worried and upset like my family was you do not really listen and the doctor took him off all his medications, the blood pressure medications and his heart medications and also the Parkinson medications, but my Mom said she wanted him to have the Parkinson's one so that he did not get stiff. Take someone who just had a stroke off blood pressure medications, unbelievable. He died 7 days later. That is what the state of Minnesota calls Comfort Care and that way another bed is available and the state health insurance called Medicaid does not have to pay for a lot of rehab, etc.
    Sounds like euthanasia to me.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  22. David

    I agree that euthanasia should be legalized. We live in a society that we can treat our suffering pets more humanly than our own realitives.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  23. Nancy Proctor

    I absolutely am in favor of euthanasia for humans! I am 52 and have watched the "oh so slow" death of peers, some from cancer and one with ALS. The pain and suffering for them is terrible finally going into coma because the body can't take the intensity of the pain. The expense left for the family to deal with is also just plain wrong. If it's good enough for my precious dog then by God it's good enough for me! Death doesn't scare me, my faith is very strong, but suffering in pain until the body finally shuts down does.

    Thank you for letting me air my voice on this extremely important and personal matter.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  24. Steena

    I have just started nursing school to be an RN. My first rotation has been in nursing homes. After spending time caring for patients whose bodies are failing them, and seeing how miserable their lives are; I 100% support euthanasia. Quality of life should trump quantity of life, and for those who disagree; I say spend some time with a terminally ill person. Your opinion just may change, and at the least you will be able to make an educated argument.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  25. bruce that old former Republican from North Adams, Ma.

    When my time is done and I am unable to enjoy living, after saying
    my goodbyes, I would like to be able to make my choice of when
    I leave this life. I do not want or need to stare at a ceiling with tubes
    sticking in my body.

    Bruce, that old, retired man from Ma.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  26. gil

    Not only legal but welcome. Wouldn't the religious be clamoring to die so that they could sooner be with their god?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  27. Carol

    Yes. As a disabled person who may eventually face paralysis, be unable to care for myself and have no quality of life, I should have the right to choose when it ends. I also do not want my children to endure the costs and emotional trauma of me lingering for years in avegitative state. Quality of life is key, not quantity. That would be cruel and unusual punishment to be forced to live on when there is no hope of recovery. It should be my choice.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  28. Josh

    If a person, living in this so called "free world", is competent enough to make the choice, whats the problem? If I were terminally ill and suffering, i would use this option, rather then let my family watch me die miserably.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  29. Robert

    If it's the will of the people to die with dignity I don't see any reason why euthanasia should be illegal. Someone who is lying in a hospital bed with a terminal illness should have the right to decide when it is time to go. If the government allows states to "euthanize" violent criminals, the government should not prevent doctors from helping patients finalize their end-of-life care plans.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  30. Lisa

    I think euthanasia should absolutely be legal. I treat cancer patients, and the some of the suffering I see is heartbreaking. Having the law changed would foster the type of end of life discussions that are not possible now.
    If a pet is suffering with no hope of recovery owners are EXPECTED to help them ease their passing. With people, you cannot even discuss it.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  31. Robear, Ojai, California

    End-of-life care is a prickly issue, but I believe that patient & doctors together should be able to make an educated decision to end a life in peace and dignity, without the threat of criminal prosecution. More than half of a person's entire medical costs over their whole life is incurred during the last six months of that life, mostly for heroic procedures intended to stave off the inevitable.

    When it's time to go, it's time to go. If stricken by a fatal disease, I'd rather have a good farewell party, go in peace at a time of my choosing , and leave some money to my heirs...

    February 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  32. Lilith

    YES! It should be legal.

    If we can take away our pets suffering, then why cant we take away our own?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  33. Robert

    If it's the will of the people to die with dignity I don't see any reason why euthanasia should be illegal. Someone who is lying in a hospital bed with a terminal illness should have the right to decide when it is time to go. If the government allows states to "euthanize" violent criminals, the government should not prevent doctors from helping patients finalize their end-of-life care plans.

    – Hammond, Indiana

    February 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  34. joe J

    It should be legal!! If a doctor or group of doctors determine that a person is terminally ill with no hope of recovery, the choice should be left up to the patient and his family. Government should have no role in the matter if all others involve agree that those are the wishes of the individual and family the person should be afforded a comfortable and dignified exit to the inevitable.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  35. Lew Holzman

    Euthanasia should absolutely be legal. It's my life and I get to choose whether I live or die. If I am terminal I might need aid from a professional and in a merciful society that could be provided. I saw my mother shrivel and beg for a surcease of pain from metastisized breast cancer and nothing could be done. Why?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  36. JBS

    I agree with the Canadian doctors.
    After I saw what went on with my parents in the last 6 months of their lives "both in the early 90ths" it was TERRIBLE, it took a Huge toll on the 3 sons.

    Especially the last 14 days of the fathers live was terrible you could see that he was suffering terribly, to ease his paint the doctors drugged him for 14 DAYS. All the sons, wives and grand children waiting and seeing him die. It was torture.
    I have put in my will that if I can’t feed myself, clean myself and don’t recognize my sons and grand children. “I want out of here"

    February 17, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  37. Elmer Sams

    Let's face the facts...All living things will someday die. This includes
    all humans, all giant redwoods and everything in between. Therefore,
    when looking at the big picture does it really matter whether we pass on a little early. If there is no change ones health improving then I support euthanasia. As my grandmother often said to me; "we are here today, but know not where tomorrow and if you live each day right you wwon't worry about tomorrow." My grandmother was a God fearing woman.

    Elmer Sams
    Burke, Virginia

    February 17, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  38. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    All I am going to see is that some people shouldn't practice euthanasia because of their lack of a solid state of mind.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  39. Ed from MD

    Why not make everything legal and leave it to between people and their God as to what is right?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  40. Rosemary

    We are kinder to our animals. A well loved pet be euthanised when they are not able to live comfortably. If they have a terminal illness, are in pain and with no hope of a recovery they can be put down.
    The hardest thing I have ever done was to have our beloved dog put down when his quality of life had come to an end. We had explored every avenue open to us to keep him alive and when we could not keep him comfortable I put him down.
    My mother had terminal cancer. We had explored all avenues to help her. She had every treatment we could find to help her. In the end she was in constant pain (despite advanced pain control programs,) most of the bones in her body had broken and she was consious until four hours before she died.
    She begged to be able to die. She begged us to help her.
    You decide.....kindness or crime.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  41. Adam

    It should be legal. The only reason that it's not is because of religious beliefs. Our founding fathers asked for, and put into the laws of our country a separation of church and state. If we followed that thinking, euthanasia would be a legal option for any individual.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  42. Barbara in NC

    Can we start with the congress and see if they are missed?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  43. Jerry

    Too many people are against youth in Asia for no good reason. As long as they are not breaking the law I say leave them alone. Why are we discriminating against them? Oh, you mean euthanasia? As Gilda would say, "Nevermind!"

    February 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  44. JoeDC

    Yes. I've not heard a single argument against euthanasia that was not religiously motivated. I am not religious and find such arguments insulting. If I am in a state of constant pain and death is inevitable, I would like to have the option to hasten my passing with the assistance of a medically trained professional, who will be able to make it as pleasant an experience as possible, and nobody has the right to tell me that I cannot do so.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  45. ward

    Jack,I have practiced internal medicine for over 20 years. None of us is getting out of here alive. I promise my patients that they will not die alone or in pain. The ethics behind euthanasia differ from person to person,from one religious group to another,but....don't we sometimes treat our dogs better than we treat those destined to die in the near future,incurring huge cost and hassle on those required to care for us,when we may want to,at least,have another option,including euthanasia?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  46. Marc Bchiri

    Jacksonville, Florida

    First of all, do any of you here think it's a crime to help a suffering human end his agony? Kevorkian said it best.

    i grew up with a guy that was diagnosed with Hodgkins and everyday for 2 months he wished he was dead because of all the pain he was going through. no matter what meds he was on nothing worked and by the time he died he was a frail weak shell of his true self.

    Doctors know there patients, if your terminally ill, 95% of the time your doctor or some doctor knows. and I believe if your cognent enough, then you should be able to make a decision about your life.

    I dont find it as a get out of debt card, i find it as a get out of suffering card. Would you want to suffer?

    February 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  47. Greg

    If it was to become the norm people would come to expect a terminally ill person to take this option. There lies some problems with this whole concept. On the other hand Id hate to be strapt to a bed in horrible pain unable to care for myself knowing that modern medicine could keep me a live for years in this condition....Hard call.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  48. Patty

    I hope it will be available to me should I ever need it.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  49. GlenInPhx

    Jack,
    Even if you throw out the Judeo-Christian issues concerning suicide, I think I that this is a very dangerous path to follow. My concern for any legislation that would legalize euthanasia is the potential for abuse and to reinforce the thinking that the primary duty of the "old" is to lessen the burden or make room for the young who are expected to support them.
    Glen V. in Phoenix

    February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  50. JB

    Absolutely.
    As someone with a terminal disease, I want the right to choose the circumstances under which I die, just as I would be able to choose medication or surgery if I chose to live.

    To deprive me of that option is tantamount to inflicting pain and torture.
    Animals are treated better than that.

    St. Augustine, FL

    February 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  51. Gary Lee Las Vegas

    Yes, especially it includes our politicians.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  52. Melanie

    The choice for an adult person to rationally take their own life should be left for that person to decide. This isn't as if someone who is just suicidal can go to their doctor and ask for a lethal injection. This choice is for people who are dying of excruciating terminal illnesses, who have come to peace with their lives and there is no hope of return. Why make them suffer in a haze of morphine just because we as a society have a warped sense of personal rights and government intervention? The government should not get to decide who gets to live or die. Period. It's not its place.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  53. kalaam

    both religious and non-religious persons generally agree that men/women/humanBeings are endowed with free will. if that be the case, i would then have the absolute right to decide for myself whether i want to end my life or not. the problem will be in the implementation of a statute that recognizes that right. Difficult to do in order to prevent potential abuse. nevertheless the basic right to choose one's own method and time of death must be recognized and fully supported.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  54. C Sherrill- NC

    We want goverment out of our lives – yes? This is part of the deal. If I felt the need to end my life early, that is between me and God, family, and doctor – in that order. The government has no place in this discussion.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  55. Jane Knaus

    Put it to the people and let us vote on it. I bet you a majority would agree it is a choice we should have. We put sick and old animals to sleep – why can't we help our loved ones and help them die with dignity and free of pain?

    Jane Knaus
    Torrance, CA

    February 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  56. marcus

    I believe euthanasia should be legal with strict guidelines to avoid abuse. I think it is more repugnant for a terminally ill patient to continue living while incurring astronomical costs and hardship. A pity to do so because that's the only medical option available while trying to avoid the fear of suffering that eventually leads to death. What is medicine if it prolongs suffering to eventual death?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  57. Matt T

    If I had a terminal illness, and someone tried to deny me the complete control over my own body and my life based on their personal religous beliefs, I would be sure to take them with me to the other side.

    We are all sovereign over our own bodies, and lives, and what we do with them.

    Period.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  58. Mike from Denver

    Sure, with guidlines. We get to choose how we live, why not how we leave?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  59. Doris Lauter

    Yes, it should be legal to end one"s life. When you are bedridden and lost the ability to enjoy life, why prolong the dying process?
    Doris
    Ojai, California

    February 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  60. Nicole Dussere

    Absolutely! As a nurse I can tell you it is far more criminal to allow humans to suffer for days and even months, gasping for breath, wreching in pain...it is a sad and sick world when our pets are treated more humanely than the humans themselves
    Nicole New Braunfels,TX

    February 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  61. Bev

    No, at least not right now for me.
    If I had cancer or another serious illiness, I might change my mind.
    I don't want anyone else to make my decision either.
    I don't want any Republican or tea bag to say it is time for me to go.
    Money should not be involved in the decision.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  62. Jack M- San Francisco

    We should allow euthansia, or as the tea-baggers spell it (youth in asia). We allow the health insurance industry to decide who and when we should die, so why not allow the individual to decide too?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  63. M Marie

    Yes, it should be legal.

    For those who disagree I urge you to spend three days and nights
    being fully present at the bedside of four terminally ill patients in hourly rotations at a nursing home.

    One cannot adequately address this serious matter without witnessing
    the lives of those who are in the process of dying.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  64. N. L. Holub

    Yes, how strange that we are kinder to our animals by putting them "to sleep" when there is no longer any possibility of a painfree, happy, reasonabley normal existence. If we love them, we don't want them to suffer.

    And yet, we will insist in keeping people alive regardless of their pain, misery and wishes to be released from a long drawn-out death. Their family suffers too, almost as much. This is a cruelty...... if there is no longer any hope of improvement, people should be aided in dying as easily and gently as possible if they wish it.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  65. Adam Visalia CA

    If you love your dog enough to put them to sleep when their life is no longer worth living, then you should love your grandma enough to do the same, granted that she wants it. I hope that euthanasia is legal in California when it's time for me to go live on a farm in the country, where I can chase rabbits, and live with a nice couple that raises just my specific breed of dog, er, I mean when it's my time to die.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  66. Don from Belleville, Canada

    Western societies will have to come to grips with this issue fairly soon because of their aging citizenry and the astronomical cost of health care.

    I don't care if you call them death panels or euthanasia professionals. I just want them available before I get really old so that I can choose them myself when I decide I am a burden on society or they can decide for me if I am incapable.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  67. Lee Haumann

    Only if they are Republican or members of the Tea Party!!

    February 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  68. Mike Kissner

    Yes, it should be legalized. It is the ultimate personal decision if the person is able to make the decision or should be made by designated next of kin in a medical power of attorney. Why prolong the suffering by all and the needless expense.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  69. Brian from NC

    No, it shouldn't. No doctor should be taking life away. Doctors are there to preserve life. Life is precious.

    Also, if you allow it in some situations, who's to say that you shouldn't allow it in others? Suffering is subjective after all. is one person suffering with physical pain from cancer more justified in ending their life than a person suffering from guilt or depression? What if a person was diagnosed with "terminal" depression? The term terminal simply means that there is no hope of it ever going away.

    I think this is a slippery slope, and in such cases we should err on the side of life.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  70. A Boomer in Illinois

    Many Americans will spend most of their family's financial resources in their last year of life, then die–too often painfully. The current system in the U.S. is broken. But, sorry, I forgot, we should not even think about reforming the medical and health insurance system....

    February 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  71. Mobius

    'Die with dignity'. I think that euthanasia should be legal, my stance being that its the patients body and if they want to end themselves, so be it. My only fear is that in some cases people would be unduly pressured into taking this path by insurance...doctors.....family.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  72. Joan Cooper

    Yes, I believe euthanasia should be legalized but only if a person is termed terminally ill by a credible physician and is suffering tremendously. I believe a person should be allowed to die with dignity. When my 10-year old kitty had to be put to sleep a month ago because of kidney failure, when my vet gave my kitty his lethal injection, he died in my arms even before the needle was drawn back out of his vein. It was over in a second and was a very humane way of relieving my kitty's pain and suffering. To me, it was such a blessing, as heart breaking as it was for me to lose my precious Gabriel.

    Joan Cooper

    February 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  73. D Virginia

    Less than a month ago someone who has been like a mother to me for a very long time finally lost her battle with the cancer that was eating away at her brain after more than 6 months. Due to the constant agony she was in they finally placed her on a morphine drip. If, in the end, they pushed that dose of morphine just a little bit to end her constant suffering I have absolutely no problem with that at all.

    D Virginia

    February 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  74. Merle Allen

    The government should not be involved in this decision making process. This decision should be between a patient and their doctor or prearranged in a medical document. It is not the role of the federal or state government to dictate a patients medical decisions. The only morale issue is groups who deem themselves "morally superior" involving themselves in the legal process forcing their religious views onto us all, which is immoral.

    We should make such decisions solely concluded the person who is directly affected and mentally sound along with sound medical information regarding prognosis.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  75. Bob

    Jack,

    This is a tough question that would probably split about equally on both sides of the issue.

    Here's my take, I believe under certain circumstances, it should be legalized. There should be a law with some Federal stringent medical diagnoses established for euthanasia.

    Locally, a group of three board-certified specializing physicians from different hospitals would examine the patient against those criteria, and if met, and the patient and the legal guardian(s) request the termination, then the recommendation would be forwarded through the state medical board for approval.

    If approved, the request for termination would be forwarded to a Medical Board, with access to the best specializing physicians in the country, that is established in the Justice Department for review final determination.

    I strongly feel that mental illnesses would not be included in decision-making process.

    This process establishes a system of checks and balances that does not allow 50 different states to employ different procedures whereby patients can be moved to the state(s) with the most liberal rules.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  76. RHay

    yes – we consider it compansionate and merciful to put our beloved pets down to cease their suffering, yet we cannot show the same compassion for our ailing loved ones.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  77. Chris

    No. Just feels wrong doesn't it?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  78. Tom

    "Should euthanasia be legal?"

    Absolutely! – as long as its applied only to lawyers, members of Congress and ALL Supreme Court judges !!!

    February 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  79. Stan

    Euthanasia should be legal. If God has a problem with it, let him say so himself – live and in person. (The silence is deafening!)

    February 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  80. Daniel from California

    The simple answer is YES. Why should good people have to suffer and then die. Why does the government care so much if sick people decide to Choose whether to end their own life? It hurts no one and helps the one person that matters. If the government really cared they would help the suffering end for these poor folks.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  81. Dennis Wolny

    Jack – I think it is good that you have put this out for discussion. I am Catholic and like many religious groups in our country there is a real push for the culture of death instead of imbracing a culture of life. Abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide are all attempts to remove theindividual from making moral, ethical tough decisions.

    We want these tough decisions to be made by our government and then we can rationalize it away by saying "it should be ok, our government made it legal.

    Jack – where do we draw the line, are we getting to the point where anything goes as long as it is not directly impacting me?

    We have all kinds of animal rights causes in the US and millions are spent in advertising on saving the whales, spotted owls and any endangerd species other than human beings.

    When do we stop playing GOD and start supporting the defenseless??

    February 17, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  82. Chuck Barker

    Only if the euthanasee is adamant about it.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  83. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    This is another example of a minority imposing their religious dogma based strictures on everyone. If a mentally competent person decides that continuing whatever anguish and agony they endure is not worth prolonging their lives so they can endure a longer period of anguish, who are these religious zealots to impose their will on them? No one will be forced to have their lives ended if it runs counter their religious beliefs, or they decide not to go that route for any reason, or lack of a reason. Remember Terri Schaivo?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  84. Janice Babbitt

    Yes, euthanasia should be legal. Control over our own lives is the only thing we truly do have control over. Remember "Soylent Green"?
    That's the kind of choice a person should be allowed to make for themselves. Keeping people alive who have no quality of life is only good for the pharmaceutical companies and others who benefit from keeping a terminal person alive. A person shouldn't have to go to extreme measures like blowing their brains out to end their pain.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  85. Jim

    I agree with the statement that the poor or disabled might be pressured to end their lives early.

    Five years ago my mother was informed that she had a short term terminal cancer. Without Medicare and a good Medicare Supplement policy she probably would have chosen no treatment and thus certain short term death. She chose treatment and she lived five very good years until her recent passing.

    Die with dignity is often the healthy people's excuse to save the society money. Money and medical care are created by humans. Why do some think we can trade a humanly created good for a God given gift of life!

    February 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  86. Raymond from Austin, TX

    I think euthanasia should be legal as long as the person is mentally competent enough to make the decision. I think it is a personal decision and another person should not be able to tell someone else that they cannot die with dignity simply because it conflicts with their personal beliefs or morals.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  87. Clinton Smart

    Yes, I think euthananasia should be legal throughput the USA. I believe it is far worse to allow people to suffer so much before death.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  88. Howard

    As someone dealing with this at present (an Aunt in California) I would like to comment : The BIGGEST disappointment of my own baby-boom generation is that we do not have die with dignity laws. It is the most personal individual freedom of life, that to choose when we want to go, not when we have to! We were once a cutting edge country on personal freedom, what happened?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  89. Arthur

    There are secenarios where euthanasia can be abused, where a person in an unconscious state can be forced to this step, where Health insurance companies can have access to.....many issues to consider.......it feels more like a slippery slope than a positive step in progressive medical practices.......

    February 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  90. R. Smith

    Yes I think euthanasia should be legal. Also there should be a suicide booth like on Futurama at the entrance of every prison. It would save millions of tax dollars.

    R. Smith
    Marietta GA

    February 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  91. BeJa Thomas

    Of course it should be legal. Anyone, who has tended to a loved one as they die in agony of cancer even as drugs are being pumped into them, knows what it means. I watched and saw. Even with drugs, no one should have to go through that hell.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  92. Jennifer

    Yes it should be legal. We have the right to live and the right to die.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  93. Glenda Crossville TN

    No I do not believe in Euthanasia. We go when and how we're suppose to go. Lets not make another life decision based on greed. I did not see pain at the end for either of my parents.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  94. Abkader

    The state should have no say in whether or not one should be allowed to end their life for ANY reason. Euthanasia is not a religious or moral issue it an existential one. No government agency is capable of ascribing value to someone else's life. This must be done at the individual level. If someone decides that their life no longer has value because of suffering the government should not step in and say, "sorry you no longer value your life, but we as the government, without knowledge of your level of suffering or other life circumstances place value on your life for you." This is what is truly immoral. Death freely chosen is the only real freedom we have.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  95. Frederick R. Cross

    Of course, we are in charge of our "last rights", not the religious who think they have the last call. Individual democracy applies even at the end.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  96. Lona H

    Absolutely! I have long been a believer in doctor-assisted suicide and hope euthansia eventually is legal in all states...sooner rather than later.

    Lona H., Ft Myers, Fl

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  97. Phil Goss

    Let's turn the question around: Should prolonging pain and suffering without promise of cure or relief be legal? Does the answer to that question depend on whether the patient has health insurance that will subsidize the treatments to prolong life in such a painful state? It would seem that opponents to assisted suicide (AKA death with dignity) have a vested interest in profiting off another person's suffering. They may use spiritual arguments to guide the blind into opposing any decriminalization, but removing the freedom of choice, the freedom of self-determination including the decision to die to avoid pain and financial ruin for one's heirs, is little more than a money grab.

    I say, give people the power to end their own life when circumstances so dictate, and suspend others' efforts to force people into painful and costly treatments which are wholly unnecessary.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  98. callie

    Absolutely. I just burried my mom who suffered from Alzheimer's disease for the past 10 years. She had a no-recussitate order, but was forced to live with this dreadful disease for all these years because it was illegal to put her out of her misery years ago. Knowing my mom, she would never have wanted to live as long as she did with Alzheimer's. It drained her of her dignity, it drained her family, and her bank account, and nothing good of it came until the day she was finally able to leave that disease riddled body of hers at age 84. Come on America. Do you really think this is "God"s Will" to let a vibrant woman wither away to infancy? Well, I think God wants us to use our brains to figure out ways to be compassionate, and practical, and to know when to call it quits.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  99. Brian

    I dont see what the fascination is with keeping people alive beyond their expiration date.. its just selfish. These people are suffering and want to move on and instead they are kept alive against their will, while also using up vital resources. Old growth was die back if there is to be a future.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  100. Dr. Amin H. Karim

    As a cardiologist, I see some elderly patients in the intensive care units, with multi-organ failure, on life support, with multiple lines, comatose or semi-comatose, suffering every minute and awaiting death. I feel there ought to be guidelines that assist us in making the crucial decision to discontinue life support in these select patients with the understanding of the family so that the patient can die with dignity and peace, without his ribs being cracked in a last ditch effort to salvage him/her.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  101. Barbara Estabrooks

    Absolutely. Euthanasia should be legal. I am 71, and like many other seniors don't wish to end my life in agony.
    As you can see, I live in Mexico. I will never return to the U.S. to live. Its too painful to see the disintegration of my beloved country.
    Barbara Estabrooks
    San Miguell de Allende, Mexico

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  102. John Marsolais

    Sure it should be legal. As long as a person is lucid and competent, he/she should be able to make this ultimate decision. We do it for our best friends–our pets--why not let us decide to do it for ourselves?

    John
    Albany, NY

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  103. Ed Fertik

    It will become legal if Obamacare becomes reality. Government workers will start doing cost benefit analysis on peoples lives. Hell...we exterminate 35,000 human fetuses each week as birth control so whats a few thousand old geezers on respirators? Right Jack?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  104. Tom Squires

    Chicago, IL

    I myself want to die when doctors think death is coming soon and unavoidable with as little pain and expense as possible. I am not religious at all; I just think my country's laws and the few religious people's demands should allow me to have this as a personal option.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  105. Terry Silver

    Definitely if the suffering person is mentally capable of making such a decision and there is absolutely no chance of that person recovering. I assisted three family members, my two children and my sister, during their final suffering and death. If I could have ended their suffering without being thrown into prison I would have done so. I feel like a coward that I did not actively end their suffering.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  106. Amy

    I absolutely agree with euthanasia. I am a paramedic and see FIRST hand what the human condition of potential candidates are, not the "sterile" "controlled" environment of a hospital or tertiary facility. Let patients have a say in their life(or death) choices for that matter. Why should the dignity of life be any less than the dignity of death?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  107. Dawn Stockdale

    Yes it should be leagalized. Hospice performs "assisting death" under the cover of getting government funding and other funding. They provide Morphine for terminally ill patients to do with as they will. My mother had cancer and was provided enough Morphine to die. Why do we pretend that respecting the person is not to allow them to have their wishes met due to religious values. Some of us don't believe in those religious values and feel we have a right to die when we choose.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  108. shahla Esfandiary

    Yes! I think anyone who is miserable and wants to check out, should be able to do so

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  109. Adolphus

    When living in a world where the lowest common denominator seems to dictate the law, I cant imagine that this country will ever see dignity as a priority over all of the possible abuses that might occur.
    I say yes yes yes legalize.

    A. Holden

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  110. Nancy

    Yes it should be legal................I don't want to be made to suffer because of someone elses beliefs. This should be a decision made be the person facing the issue. We have a separation between church and state in this country as far as making laws are concerned. Lets not forget that. There is a very good reason for it.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  111. Raymond from Austin, TX

    There is a difference between someone who is clinically depressed and wishes to commit suicide compared to someone who has come to terms with their condition and has accepted the fact that prolonged death or disability is unavoidable and would simply prefer to pursue a more dignified end on their own terms.

    For the latter, euthanasia should be a legal option.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  112. Sam on Lake Oroville CA

    Should euthanasia be legal?
    that depends upon who is to be
    euthanaized.
    If You Jack I would object, although
    i wouldn't like to see you suffer.
    if it was Glen, and or Rush that
    would depend upon how much suffering
    they might have to endure.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  113. Peggy Spokane,WA

    Will THAT be paid for????

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  114. Sherri

    We allow our beloved pets to not suffer too much before the end. But they are just animals. We are not. I guess that means we should suffer beyond the point of reason or decency, and leave our loved ones with the massive bills that were run up while extending our misery. Is this 21st century common sense?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  115. Barbara

    Yes. I watched my mother suffer from cancer in spite of all the pain meds available. It was agonizing and very traumatic. That same year, my beloved dog developed cancer. When it became obvious he was miserable, I was able to hold him tenderly in my arms at the vets and be part of the most peaceful death by euthanasia. As a RN, there is no question in my mind. We treat our pets better than our terminal loved ones.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  116. June

    Nice question on Ash Wednesday!

    The answer is no. I've told my kids to keep me alive just in case some doctor with his God-given gifts finds a way to eliminate my pain or the pain of others. Isn't this what it's all about? Shouldn't
    the effort be positive? The nuns in my past had an
    expression "offer it up". Does that make more sense than "pull the plug"

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  117. Milou Kelley

    I agree totally with Clinton Smart – legal euthanasia is absolutely necessary given that modern medicines can keep a person 'alive' under dreadful conditions.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  118. Cheryl Zirger

    Yes, and it is sad that we even have to legislate it. 100 years ago, patients were expected to die when they had a terminal illness or reached the end of their life. In today's world, we believe we just need another medicine and we can stave off death. We have the ability to extend life to extraordinary lengths using extraordinary means, but is it really a life most would ask for-tubes, machines, IV's all attached to keep the body going. A fate worse than death in my view, and anything but dignified. People should have the choice in how they die.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  119. Alan Schroeder

    Yes, it should be legal. No one is suggesting that it be forced on people- just that those who do not wish to continue their lives in pain. It is your own life- it is your choice. If your religion says you must live out your days in agony, so be it. No one will deny you your pleasure.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  120. meg

    If you have ever had to watch someone sufferingwith absolutely no quality of life you will realize there are worse things than death. To prolong an excuciating ,painful existence is more criminal than death. When animals are suffering we treat them with more dignity than some humans are allowed. So,yes I agree with legalizing euthenasia.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  121. Chris

    No I don’t support it! But for supports I have an easier way to end life – one 12 gage shot gun shell. Quick, easy and the same results! People may scream at my comment but its same result. Chris – Charleston, SC - Now you'll hear from all of the people who want gun control. Keep up the good reporting.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  122. Henry

    I believe Euthanasia should be legal with the proviso that the patient be mentally competent to make the decision and be certified by competent medical personell that the patient is suffering a terminal illnes and is suffering excruciating and debilitating pain without any chance of the patient getting any relief other than an assisted death. Americans have an aversion to this but some European countries allow this.
    Henry
    Manhattan New York

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  123. Irwin

    It should be legal yet carefully controlled. If science can keep people 'hanging on' with no chance of meaningful life, society needs to redefine 'life' and 'death'. Religion should just get pot of the way; if some people eant to believe in its dictates, fine, but they shouldn't impose those values on the rest of us.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  124. Mike K.

    Jack,

    I was leaving the room when I heard you talk about Euthanasia and rushed to my computer to get in my reply. Recently I had a terminally ill dog who I loved dearly. I had no choice but to end her life. The memory of watching her life fade out in my arms will be with me forever. However, when it was over, I thought about the suffering that I had ended quickly and with dignity. Though devastated, I was at peace with my decision. Then I thought about my three family members who suffered long and terribly before they died, especially my mother who lingered in a coma for 3 months. Where is the logic in being able to end the suffering of your pet and not be able to end the suffering of someone you love? I sure hope we clean up that logic when my time comes.

    Mike K.
    Windham, CT.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  125. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The government should be charged with cruelty to make any intelegent being suffer when death will ease there pain its just not right for the government to play God .

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  126. Sharon Zingery

    Has research been done where euthanasia is allowed to see if there are disproportionate results by age, ethnicity, economic status, gender and/or religious belief? Legal and doctor-assisted euthanasia respects an individual's desire to manage their own life and decide what is right for them. Carefully constructed guidelines can protect individuals and doctors and I WANT to DECIDE my own FATE. I met a woman in a nursing home with no arms and no legs...she lay alone, really alone because no family came and the caretakers talked over her as if she were an object with no feelings. Should I end up abandoned and helpless, I MIGHT decide to die sooner than later and that should be MY choice. Life simply for the sake of breathing is not just.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  127. Stacy

    I find it interesting that a nation which supports abortion would be against euthanasia.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  128. Marianne Godwin

    I'm an investment banker CFA in Toronto – the only caring relative to a dying father of crippling osteoperosis and arthritis. He died Nov 20 2004, after 4 years of suffering. The last 5 months he was hospitalized into long term care, because he couldn't walk. As he laid there in pain as his body ate itself up while his mind remained fully intact, unable to eat by himself, sit up or walk from pain, I had to ask the doctors to give more pain killers. However, as a person with a career, and two children and single mom, the doctors and nurses helped as much as possible. Two comments to your question: 1. absolutely euthenasia is good when the end is near. 2. given the number of dying family members in long term care with no family to visit (with possibly powers of attorney) - the only people who should make the decision are the patient (like my dad with mind fully in tack and body deteriorating); or the doctor who knows when the patient is in pain and the end is inevitable. I suffered as much as my father watching him deteriorate in excruciating pain.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  129. Matt

    Of course it should. The Religious Right will say that it is not our place to decide who lives and dies but rather God's. Tell Me-What kind of God wants to see his children suffer? Geez, they would probably give me the death penalty for saying that!

    Matt R.
    Providence, RI

    February 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  130. Mike

    Yes! – Having had the heartbreaking, but humane responsibily of putting my 11 year old Beagle down 2 weeks ago today, I feel that a human being should be able to decide for themselves in these types of situations. After all, according to the Bible, aren't we a higher species. So, having had religious training and being a rather solid believer myself (I think), I'm rather insulted at the idea that our animals have more rights than we do when it comes to end of life decision making. It's sort of like prohibition...people will find a way to put themselves out. Skydiving anyone?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  131. Jesse

    "'Die with dignity'. I think that euthanasia should be legal, my stance being that its the patients body and if they want to end themselves, so be it. My only fear is that in some cases people would be unduly pressured into taking this path by insurance...doctors.....family."

    Good point. Although I still believe it should be legal. It's one's right to choose whether they want to live or die, even when they aren't terminally ill.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  132. pied type

    Yes, of course it should. Now 66, I've given it a lot of thought and there's no doubt I fear pain and indignity far more than death. I will travel as far as necessary to die with dignity ... but I shouldn't have to travel at all. Nor should anyone else.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  133. JR

    Can we start with Cheney? But seriously, I agree with the idea of euthanasia, the only concern is who decides.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  134. Helen

    I think a person who has been diagnosed as terminally ill should have the right to end their life with dignity. I think they should be required to discuss this with their family and seek counseling to be sure this is the route they want to take. I think other people who have nothing to do but join causes should not be allowed to interfere.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  135. Jim

    Yes, it shopuld be legal for the very ill and the elderly that choose

    February 17, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  136. Linda

    I can imagine no greater horror than watching a loved one die a horrible, painful death. You know the end is coming and you know there is no hope for recovery, but somehow the loved one is physically strong and they hang on – experiencing great pain.
    I will not watch a beloved pet die such a death.
    Why would I want my mother or spouse or brother or child to endure this fate?
    I believe the patient should be able to choose their treatment.
    They should be able to weigh all aspects of t;he process and make
    their choice accordingling.
    In the end, if that choice is euthansia, so be it. We do not have the right to force pain on others. It is, afterall, their life – not ours.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  137. john

    I feel it's horrible that we can protect our pets from suffering, but have to watch loved ones suffer – let's become more humane.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  138. Frank Brindel

    I know a guy who, while going through tough treatment, he wanted to give up and die with dignity.....6 yrs later he's back to work and doing well.

    I have another friend who had pancreatic cancer and also wanted to die with dignity.....he died suffering...an agonizing death....a horrible ordeal.

    the moral of the story: "we just don't know."

    February 17, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  139. Kathy (Pinehurst, NC)

    Yes, I do believe euthanasia should be legalized and each case should be determined by a panel of physicians not involved in the patient's care. The panel would review the request to approve euthanasia after thorough review of the patient's medical history, meeting with the family members and discussing the case in detail with the treating physician. I have worked in medicine for many years and have seen so many instances when euthanasia would be more than appropriate. However, you must remove any chance of hastening a patient's death for other than legitimate medical reasons.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  140. Dan M

    Of course euthanasia should be legal. Why not? I believe that the right to life belongs solely to the person who holds it. The state should not be able to limit our last freedom which is the right over our own lives. As government should have no place in ending the lives of its citizens it has no place in preventing them from taking their own, if that is their choice.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  141. Richard

    At least three generations of my ancestors have died from complications of alzheimer's. I have asked all of my closest relatives to help me end my physical life should I develop that disease, since my mental life will have already ended. What I fear is that they will not honor my wishes out of fear that the government will intervene, preventing this action.

    Republicans are all for small government, except when it comes to the imposition of their religion on individuals who do not share their beliefs. If you believe in small government, which I do, you should not use government to restrict the actions of individuals who are acting so as to affect only themselves. These types of restriction of individual rights and actions have caused me to cease being a republican and become an independent.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  142. Barbara; Spring Grove, IL

    Yes, I can say this with no regret after watching my 90 year old father gasp for breath due to congestive heart failure for several weeks. He said on several occasions that he wished he would die quickly, that it was horrible to not be able to catch his breath. He had been healthy and quick witted and this came on quickly after a bout of pneumonia. All he wanted was to die on his own terms and there was no hope for improvement. I hope when my time comes I can make this decision for myself, and not have to have my loved ones helplessly watch me suffer as I had to watch my father.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  143. Live from Reno Nevada

    I say no to legalized euthanasia , only because it will be abused as has been everything else. With euthanasia illegal, it is used as intended and quetly, peacefully for ony those in true need.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  144. Barbara in NC

    Yes – If someone wants to keep me alive when I am sick and hurting and won't survive long, they must first sign legal papers to pay all the doctor bills and take care of my other bills until I "suffer to death".

    It's my life, it should be my choice for death.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  145. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    In NY, Jack, we can sign a health care proxy which states we do not want to be kept alive by artificial means if there is no hope of recovery. My mother had one, and the hospital honored it when she suffered a massive stroke; she was taken off life-support and allowed to die with dignity. Why not take it one step further and allow physician-assisted suicide in similar cases, as long as the person suffering and/or whoever was given authority to make decisions for that person gives the OK? It's a matter between the patient and the doctor, and shouldn't be any of the government's business. The government controls too much of our lives now as it is.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  146. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Euthanasia should never be legalized, a doctors code of ethics is to do no harm. Doctors spend too much time trying to save lives due to gun violence on our streets caused by gangs who intent is to euthanize.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  147. Richard Davis

    John, please take a walk through a nursing home and have a look around. Would you want to live like that if there were no hope of ever leaving? Most of the residents can’t speak, move, or even know what’s happening. I know I wouldn’t want to be trapped like that. Please let me decide when to leave.
    You bet I am in favor of Euthanasia, with the proper guidance.
    Richard,
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  148. Ron from Palm Springs

    Euthanasia needs to be legalized in USA as many humans die after much pain and suffering. We seem to be kinder to our animals that we don't want to suffer any longer. Modern medicine has many medicines to take care of pain but the quality of life is diminished. Let people act like adults in this end of life decision. Let's follow Oregon and Washington in their example of MD assisted suicide or euthanasia.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  149. Myriam

    Definitely. I live in Oregon. Here there is progressive law that allows individuals with a terminal illness to terminate their lives with the help of their doctor. My mother-in-law, who lived in Georgia, passed away last May after a long battle with a debilitating disease. It was extremely painful to see her suffering for over 10 days without being able to eat or drink anything. I can't even imagine the pain she was going through. It was a horrible way to die. Euthanasia offers an alternative.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  150. Kelly

    Jack,
    Euthanasia should be decided between a physician(s) and their patient. If you have a loved one who is terminally ill, or you yourself are then your opinion should count. If not, your opinion is irrelevant.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  151. L. Scott Davis

    To end needless suffering, an individual should have to right to end his or her own life. It's a question of compassion and individual freedom.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  152. Clarice

    Private, personal decisions such as this are none of the government's business. Will this country EVER, EVER honor the separation of state and religion?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  153. William R. Cook

    While possibly not quite euthanasia certainly physician assisted suicide under some circumstances is. It is a well known statistic that 25% of ESRD patients on hemodialysis choose to quit dialysis each year knowing that in doing so they will die within a month or so. It is also true that their physicians will make their passing as painless as possible. I know because I am such a patient who for the last 3 years have said NO! At the age of 77 mornings are difficult.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  154. Agnes Revilla

    I believe only God has the right to choose when we die.

    If this becomes legal the next thing is killing people with mental disabilities as society could consider them a liability instead of a gift from God.

    We should not consider ourselves God.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  155. Johio

    Doctor-assisted suicide – yes. Euthanasia – no. What's the difference? The former requires informed consent, while the latter implies that the decision could be made without the participation of the patient.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  156. Pat

    Yes, I believe we should all have the right to decide for ourselves about our death. As a 54 year old woman, I watched my mother wither and die when I was thirty. She suffered and would never have chosen that for herself. I am primary caregiver to my ailing father now and he is beyond the point of that decision for himself. I, however, will not allow my life to linger and be a burden to myself or those around me. I would hope that we can respect life enough to allow each of us to decide how we choose to make our exit. Dignity and grace in life and death.
    Pat , Michigan

    February 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  157. Patricia

    Absolutely. Who knows better than you? No one.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  158. pat sanders

    jack, i am a nurse and feel that euthanasia is truly an act of kindness and compassion. I have cared for many terminally ill patients and watched them suffer terribly. Many other nurses and doctors also feel euthanasia is warranted in many cases.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  159. Sandy from Missouri

    I believe – as a Christian – that euthanasia is wrong. But knowing that many visitors to this post are not, I submit these dilemmas:

    If euthanasia is legalized, terminally ill pts. may feel they are a burden to family (financially and emotionally) if they continue living and end their lives prematurely. The remaining family is thereby cheated of that individual's impact on their life. Caring for the ailing individual could yielded social devt/growth in the caregivers, as well as the ailing individual.

    And if any form of socialized health care passes, there will be the problem of review boards...

    February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  160. Vince L Lionetti

    When I reach the point where I cannot take care of myself. It`s over and I really don`t care about the law.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  161. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I can promise you if I become like some of these people straped to a bed beggin to release me from an illness I will take a life to end mine .

    February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  162. Justin from OH

    Hopefully, I'm not close to dying. But if I was and I was in pain, I would do what I can to end that pain and move on. Nobody is going to tell me I can't do that, and I would thank anybody who helps me with that journey. If the doctor feels that euthanasia is an ethical procedure, and if the patient wants to end their pain and suffering that leads to a unavoidable death, it is his duty to perform that service. If your religious beliefs preclude you from this, I'm sorry for the pain that you may go through, but who are you to stop me from trying to end my pain?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  163. shirley gibbons

    Yes! A person should be able to choose to die rather than suffer on and on, as so many do now.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  164. Dana in Houston, TX

    After reading Jack Cafferty's blog on "Should euthanasia be legal?" I realized, yet again, how very passionate I feel about the subject and how much I want euthaniasia to become legal throughout the entire U.S. Nothing could be more distressing than witnessing a loved one suffering in horrific pain from a terminal illness until their inevitable death, especially when there is a means available for him/her to die peacefully. We can put down a beloved pet, why not a beloved person?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  165. Loretta from Sun City AZ

    I watched my husband struggle to breathe for the last 6 months of his life. He hated the loss of mobility and became very angry at everyone. He was on Morphine for the last month and it only helped by making him sleep. He was bedridden and lost all bodily functions and just wanted to be free. It's time that we treat terminally ill peoiple with the same dignity as we do our beloved pets and let them go quietly when it's time.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  166. Roger Gregor

    Yes. Forbidding people from ending their life when they know they will die soon anyway, is slavery, and slavery is illegal.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  167. Barbara Davis

    I have had the sad task of nursing several loved ones through terminal cancer. It is a nightmare I would not wish upon anyone . The suffering and stripping away of all dignity are something no one should have to endure. Two years ago I had a very serious health scare, A very fast growing tumor was disdovered in my lung. As I sat there numbly listening to my Dr. tell us we should make decisons and arrangements before my surgury . My only thought was the decision was already made, I would NOT go through that horror nor would I allow my family to go through. I signed a DNR right there and sat down with my family that night and told them that there would be no chemo, no radiation and I would choose to leave when I felt ready. Luckily my tumor was benign but I still feel the same way . Euthanasia is a loving and compassionate thing that we give with out hesitation to a beloved pet. Why should it be any different for a beloved family member?/
    Barbara Davis
    Waxahachie Texas

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  168. Denis Taillon

    Legal? Yes. Hell yes!
    Michigan (the State of) is an anachronism.

    North Barrington, Illinois

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  169. John

    I believe it should be the choice of the person involved. Everybody should have the choice, Doctors don't want it because that would take away their experimental patients. Hospitals don't want it because it would hurt their bottom line for profits. Myself, when I feel that I'm getting to the point that I can't manage for myself, then I will pull the trigger. I have no intention of leaving medical bills for my family.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  170. Charlie in Bremerton Wa

    Humor this person on the internet for half a minute.

    Close your eyes and pretend you have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, otherwise called Lou Gehrig's Disease). You can barely move your limbs leaving you bed ridden, you also have a respirator tube lodged down your throat. This tube has been shoved in your esophagus and is removed only for brief periods to be cleaned/replaced or to give you a bit of time to converse with others. This will go on until you eventually die of respiratory failure.

    Now keep in mind due to medical advancements you could survive upwards of 10 more years. Do you really want to live like this for 10 more years?

    Do you really think anyone would?

    Do you think you have the right to tell that person, that they're forced to suffer for what little life they have left?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  171. Ellie

    Absolutely.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  172. playdoh

    AS a old person I think it is great that young people think it's OK to kill old people

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  173. Susie from Hurst, TX

    Jack, I believe euthanasia should be legal. I have witnessed many loved ones suffer the last years or last months of their lives, with me praying that God would take them 'now' in order to end their suffering. I don't understand how anyone would want their loved ones to suffer longer than they have to when they know the end is near. They kill horses don't they?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  174. Betsy

    I want some control over my "end of life" decisions! I sincerely believe euthanasia should be legal and that no one has the right to make this decision for me.

    If I am not part of a particular religion and do not believe in certain religious principles, why should someone's else's religious principles have control over my body and my life? It just doesn't make sense to me. I believe legal euthanasia is inevitable, the sooner the better.

    Betsy, Phoenix AZ

    February 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  175. David

    Jack, a gentle exit drug sure beats my 38 special if I want to check out with a terminal illness.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  176. Tim in Texas

    Well, I already told my wife in no uncertain terms that when it comes to my time, to just put a bottle of pills by the bed with a big glass of water and I'll take care of it. She told me the same thing. Problem is that depending on which one of us goes first, the other one won't be around to help out. I'd like a doctor to be able to do it in that case.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  177. Johnny, Marysville CA

    In a Word Jack, No. Why open a door that has no end to it.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  178. A. in DFW Texas

    Euthanasia should be a constitutional amendment giving everyone the choice of when they want to die.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  179. Ben, NJ

    Jack, It's incredibly hypocritical to "euthanize" aka kill as many animals as possible under the guise of a humane act. Why should humans be any different? The naysayers come from religious groups, insurance companies and politicians being supported by both groups. There's money to be made by keeping people alive no matter how poor their condition. Then again, these same groups make money off the deceased's relatives so it's still a win win for them.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  180. Baal

    YES, even though the Party of NO tried to deny Oregon its RIGHT to determine its own destiny, the only thing we really have control over is our own life...

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  181. Brian J. Woznicki, M.S.

    Jack, No! I'm 56 and have physical disabilities. I worked for 20 years, have two kids and a shape mind. It scares me to think someone might want to "pull the pluge" on me some day! It will never happen? I'm not so sure. More to the point, I don't the chane of such a thing happening by making such acts legal.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  182. Janet Scheer Boulder Colorado

    Jack,
    Yes it should be legal. It is unfortunate that there are so many people who think it is their God given right to decide for everyone else not only how to live but how we can end our lives as well. It is a very personal decision that only the person involved should be allowed to make. When it is my time, I alone will make this decision, and it will be on my terms, legal or not. Janet Scheer, Boulder Colorado

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  183. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Show mercy to the ill it isnt against gods will to let some one suffer .

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  184. Northern Illinoisian Raised in MI

    Know that you're talking out of both sides of your mouth if you don't care about people who don't have health insurance and would even put your health and pain-free life ahead of theirs.... and then turn around and say people are unjustified in ending their lives. The commandment says "Thou Shalt Not Kill", not "Thou Shalt Not Be Merciful and Assist In Going To The Next Life."

    February 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  185. Suzanne

    Last March I held my beloved dog in my arms while he was eased out of his misery from a terminal illness in a gentle, painless 3-stage procedure. My only comfort was that he didn't suffer a lingering, painful "natural" death. Why do we offer pets and animals this compassionate dignity that we deny to ourselves and our loved ones? If any person has feelings against such a procedure, then don't do it. But don't force religious mores on others through laws. Dr. Kevorkian–thank you for understanding a dignified death is a kindness that shouldn't be only for animals.

    Suzanne, Richmond, VA

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  186. Eugene from Belle Fourche SD

    definetly euthanasia should be legal... We have the right to have seriously ill pets euthanised, let our terminally ill family members die with dignity.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  187. Laura, New York

    I fully support legalizing euthanasia, as long as there are restrictions and each case is carefully considered and documented to make sure there are no abuses. For a person dying, being able to die with dignity and in peace could be the last important decision they make, and they shouldn't be robbed of that freedom. What is life when a person is in pain, can't eat and is always feeling incredibly sick? Sure they're "alive" but is that really living? Life isn't just about breathing and having a beating heart. If there's no quality of life and pain is constant without any hope of improvement, who are we to force people to live like that?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  188. Jim M

    Much like abortion, this must be a personal choice. If you don't like it, just don't do it. That is true freedom.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  189. kn

    Jack its funny how this question comes up around the fear that Healthcare Reform will lead to pulling the plug to save on medical cost.

    Euthanasia is like resuscitation wishes, it is up to the individual and not the doctors, hospitals, lawyers or insurance companies.

    How many life-prolonging procedures has Dick Cheney under gone? Who gets determines if his life is worth prolonging?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  190. Jennifer L

    It seems to me a little bit crazy that I can have my cat put down peacefully and with dignity if she's suffering from cancer, but if I'm the one that has agonizing, incurable cancer and I just want release, my family can't arrange to have the same sort of mercy extended to me.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  191. Pearl Basehore

    Provided one is a competent adult, all decisions about one's person should be left to the individual - from when to die to when to procreate to prostitution and even drug use - with reasonable regulation to ensure the safety of others.

    It is very simple. Of course we should be allowed to die when conditions make us feel the time is appropriate.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  192. Jean

    Choose life; not death. From conception to natural death. Thou shalt not kill. Euthanasia is taking a life and there is no excuse for that. Under no circumstances should euthanasia be practiced. It is not dying with dignity when the plug is pulled off someone who is terminally ill. Absolutely no one has the mandate to end someone's life; not even theirs. If people are concerned about the person's suffering, consider that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. There is a reason for suffering. Suffering is a way of life. We/souls will not enter Heaven without some degree of suffering. Therefore, this moment must not be stolen from them. If these patients are not able to pray for themselves, the families and friends should pray for them that God will have mercy on their soul and save them. Furthermore, miracles do happen. People have been known to live for a long time after the tube which supposedly keeps them alive is taken off. Also those who are in a coma; some have gotten out of it and doctors are not the ones who are responsible for this. God is, The One who holds the key to life and death. It is a grievous/mortal sin to take anyone's life. Those who commit euthanasia, endorse it and encourage it are themselves murderers and will receive their just recompense as they deserve. God will hold them responsible for that. It is not their duty to sentence anyone to die, be it that they are terminally ill. There is always hope that the patients could be revived, with the help of God. God created us and He will take us when He is good and ready.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  193. Jean

    Yes, euthananasia should be legal and NOT for just those who are terminally ill. I have a relative who took her own life because she knew that she was suffering a condition that would slowly take away her ability to do for herself and, having always avowed not to EVER have to suffer that final degradation, decided to end it while she was capable of doing so. Because of the archaic laws here her method of choice and availability was to shoot herself (which almost failed) and led to 11 days of being hospitalized 'til she lapsed into a coma and finally had the release of death. Death with Dignity? I think not.
    We should ALL have the dignity offered such as that in Switzerland to make the decision of when WE have had enough. We can be humane with our animals but not human beings. Also, we should discontinue throwing vast sums of money toward prolonging the time we have to live if we cannot make that time WORTH living. And, that is not in some nursing home (sometimes for years) being trapped in a body and not capable of doing the most basic items of care for ourselves. It is sad enough when the mind does not comprehend what is happening but even more horrendous when the mind is fully functional and KNOWS!

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  194. Karen - Nashville TN

    Jack, years ago when my mother was first diagnosed with cancer she was scared out of her wits, but the cancer was a side issue. She was terrified of a long, lingering death resulting in great misery to both her and her family. The surgery was a success, thank goodness, but I still remember the day she tried to get me to promise to "Just hit me over the head if they won't let me die in peace." Why should a clear-minded lady in her eighties have to ask this of her family?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  195. Terri

    What about "First Do No Harm"?

    No it should not be legal. Giving the government the right to make this decision will lead to all kinds of fraudulent deaths.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  196. Betty

    Hi Jack,
    Someone needs to address this to the Republicans along with the abortion question; they always say they want less government if that is so than take both of these issues off the legal books... these are individual issues not government. No government should define morality I see it as a win/win...republicans get less government and the rest of us get to lead our lives making decisions as we see fit for ourselves. What's the problem?? Oh I guess...its not too much government if they force their views on the whole country.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  197. Anand

    Of course it should be legal. We have the right to choose, lets make it fool proof. Easy, prepared and efficient. That's the way I want to go. Don't treat us like we are stupid, or incapable of making our choices. It is obvious to me (I have seen my past lives) that we just move into a different life after anyway. It is the fear that makes us timid and prevent others from having choice.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  198. conundrum

    I think there is broad agreement that a person who refuses treatment in the interest of quality of life has that right if they are of sound mind. Essentially, they are asking for inaction.

    But euthanasia? That requires active participation that ends a life, which usually is thought of as harm. It's a different story.

    Still, how can we say someone terminally ill has the right to refuse treatment, and not the right to reduce inevitable pain and suffering?

    I don't know the answer.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  199. Art Janszen

    I have known personally 2 persons in Holland that were in tremendous pain from cancer. Another patient had ALS and could
    hardly breathe anymore. In each instance they were administered eauthanesia after approval by 2 doctors. .
    Euthanesia is humane and should be allowed in this country too. Suffering like some of these socalled "caring people" demand should be reserved for these people that don't believe in euthanesia (it is easy to talk like that when you are healthy and not in pain). Let them suffer, but leave the decision up to patients and their caretakers who want euthanesia when the time comes and is the only thing left for needed relief.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  200. Laura Henderson Franta

    Absolutely, legal! Without a doubt, legal!! I have had to watch loved ones struggle through misery during their last days. My grandmother told my grandfather she wanted to die when her body was consumed by cancer, and there was literally nothing anyone could do to help her. She had to "tough it out" as it were. By golly, when my time comes, it's my life, and I'd like to be at liberty to leave it on my own terms and without making a mess!

    February 17, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  201. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    Not only should it be legal. For our so-called "LEADERS", it should be MANDATORY!
    Vote 'Em All Out, otherwise!
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    February 17, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  202. Dan

    If it is legal to "compassionately" remove a feeding tube and allow someone to emaciate away over at least a week (which it is), then there is no question euthanasia should be legal. But even more important than the issue of applying a double standard, is the issue of the government interfering in peoples lives. It is not the place of the government or any individual for that matter to tell anyone what is right for them or how they can and cannot die.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  203. Owen

    1. If requested by patient, grant it.
    2. If requested by guardian or next of kin, get medical consensus
    3. If not clearly requested, DON'T

    Simple, isn't it?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  204. irvin sapp

    i would rather the doctors be able euthanize me than keep me alive if i cannot take care of myself because i do not believe my family to be able to.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  205. meg

    So having an iv, tube feeding,medications round the clock in a terminal state to me is not living-it's prolonging the inevitable. The act of breathing & no other productive activity to me is not living. It is a fate worse than death. If I in my cognitive state has decided I want death to be my fate–I feel I should be in charge of that final choice. Yes, I agree with euthenasia.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  206. Carol Mackay

    Yes, euthanasia should be legalized.It will relieve much of the end of life suffering and allows individuals leave this life with dignity and prepare to meet their God.Also very important is the aging of America. Nursing homes and hospitals are now full and what will happen when all the baby boomers reach that stage of their life. Where will they go, who will care for them and who will pay for it. I am one of them and I hope to have a choice at lifes' end.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  207. Matthew Townsend

    I believe it should be up to the individual. I consider myself a conservative . I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I know I'm NOT God and this shouldn't be up to any person or government (if a choice has no negative effect on those around them.) IF YOU FEEL THAT IT'S WRONG THEN DON'T DO IT! If you feel that it's right then it should all be up to you.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  208. bill

    Yes,Yes,Yes.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  209. Kim

    Absolutely not.

    It may not be "convenient" or "cost effective" to care for the elderly or newborns with severe disabilities, but doing the right and moral thing is still the correct action. How absurd that this debate even exists. I understand that other countries have adopted euthanising the willing, however,I don't want our country to land in this trap! I fear the consequences of deciding to "play God."

    February 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  210. Susie from Hurst, TX

    The medical community is quick to end the life of a young person who has been pronounced 'brain dead' so they can harvest their organs for transplant. I don't see how euthanasia would be any different, except they would not be able to make any money off of the organs and tissue of the diseased elderly.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  211. rita

    I feel very strongly that a person should be able to choose when they have suffered enough. Like many of the people that are writing comments, I also had an experience with someone I loved dearly, was terminally ill and suffering. She would beg me to give her something to help her die, thats how much pain she was in. Crossed my mind that if she were one of my pets and she was suffering I could have helped her. We should all have the right to die when there is little hope of getting better and we are in so much pain and agony.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  212. Jim

    Jack,

    I don't know. There are good arguments for euthanasia; dying with dignity, alleviating extreme pain among them. It's a rational and humane answer to hopeless suffering – until the first mistake.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    February 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  213. Kathryn

    YES! Absolutely! As a veterinary student the option of euthanasia as a humane treatment option is often discussed. It is often the only and best thing we can do for our patients. I have watched video footage of a man in a third world country strapped to a bed, maniacally thrashing around and screaming, but fully aware that he had rabies and there was nothing that could be done for him. He remained strapped to that bed for three days until he died. Obviously, that situation is uncommon in developed countries as ours, however there are similar circumstances where, surely, laying incapacitated in bed waiting to die would be far worse than being allowed to die peacefully and quickly.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  214. Bev

    Yes, I always said I wish that Dr. Kervorkian would be around when it was my time. Going through agony and then lingering until you die is inhumane.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  215. Anne P

    I don't see a 50-50 divide on this topic here as one person eluded to. I've long thought euthanasia should be legal. It's a personal choice, not a governmental one. We are kinder to our pets. However, that said, we all know what the religious right would do with this topic! Hey, if their god is so great, why prolong the visit?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  216. Nancy Ree

    I'm a nurse and have given years of thought to this as well as countless personal experiences and work shops. I have come to the conclusion that in reality, this is already happening but between patients, families and their doctors. I do not believe that legalizing euthenasia would be helpful if legalized. It is a personal decision made within this small group of individuals. Removing life sustaining equipment has been allowed for years. When a patient is suffering, often the pain medication's side effect is death. I wouldn't want to legalize euthenasia and allow direct intervention. Side effects are close enough. Doctor's have taken an oath to do no harm. There is such a fine line in this area. It is hard enough to take away a vent. I don't know how you could give something to cause death on purpose.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  217. Birddog in mississippi

    With some protection, dying with some shred of dignity and lack of pain should be a choice we as individuals should be allowed to make. It would be best if people were allowed to make their wishes for end of life care known prior to being in a condition where somebody else needs to make the decision for them,

    February 17, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  218. Jean Sturgeon

    Of course it should be legal, Even dogs are spared terminal suffering
    Thanks....Jean, Santa Barbara

    February 17, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  219. Maerwynn

    Not only legal but welcome. Wouldn't the religious be clamoring to die so that they could sooner be with their god? ~ gil February 17th, 2010 6:53 pm ET

    I always had that question also.

    But, to the question at hand, YES! Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide should be legal in the US.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  220. RyanShort

    Murder, by any other name, is still murder, and is in violation of God's Law. The taking of one's own life is also wrong. No, it should not be legal, and it's horrifying that it's even being brought up as something that should be looked on more favorably.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  221. Bob

    What do you mean, should it be legal? We already have it. What do you think hospice care is. Dignified murder without pain.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  222. Amanda V.

    YES! Physician assisted suicide should be legal in the U.S.....if I am terminally ill please let me make my own decision to end my suffering and go in peace!!

    February 17, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  223. frank

    I don't want some screwed up clergyman/woman havin any say in how I live here or chose to leave here. Too many people of dignity have had to suffer all because some arsehole thinks that God meant us to stay here in the absence of any quality of life. I have had many loving pets put out of their misery because I loved them so much.

    For all you screwed up religious zealots, get a life and at the same time respect others.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  224. valwayne

    As Obama has pointed out a huge percentage of our healthcare dollars are spent in the last year to 6 months of a person life. If we just chopped off that last year instead of spending all that money keeping people alive another 6 -12 months Medicare would probalby be solvent and Social Security would get a big benefit also. So when somebody hits 65 lets just warn them that they need to stay healthy. Anything that requires a hospital stay gets them sent to the Euthansia clinic. Why let old people suffer at such great expense to the country?

    February 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  225. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Its unamanus let the people die with dignity .

    February 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  226. bob

    I hope I can die with dignity, so yes, euthanasia should be a legal and moral choice that i can make for myself. If I'm incapacitated, then I hope my loved ones would carry out my last intentions.

    This is so much more prefarable to the "death squads" we now have, where HMO's can deny us care due solely to the price they have to pay.

    I believe we treat our pets with more dignity than ourselves when it comes to dying in America.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  227. hoefy jbh

    Jack,
    I, my family and my doctor know when my life is over and not worth living anymore. I don't need Sarah Palin, John Boehner and Pat Robertson to help me with the decision.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  228. Mariel

    Hi Jack,

    Yes, Absolutely. When my time arrives I do not want to be in a hospital or nursing home waiting to die. I do not want my family to see me in pain and sufferiing every day. They would be suffering as well. My Mom and Dad were both diagnosed with a terminal disease. My Mom passed away Nov., 27, 08 and my Dad Nov., 23, 09. It was extremely heart wrenching for my Son, Grandson and me to see them both suffer the way they did.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  229. Dez from TX

    Agree we should legalize this to avoid unnecessary suffering. Common sense will prevail.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  230. Al Karr

    stop using euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide interchngeably. oregon, and i assume washington state, require the person to take the lethal pills himself or herself. a doctor can assist, but cannot give the dosage, like putting it in the patient's mouth or giving an injection. I don't know what they do in europe, but dr. dvorkin was doing euthanasia–administering the lethal dosage to the patient, which he said the person wanted. an actual self-conducted suicide, with a doctor's help, and a doctor administering the lethal dose, with or without the patient"s assent, are not the same thing. doctor-assisted suicide is far less questionable than euthahasia.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  231. Lisa P

    If you are on your death bed in pain, you should have pallative/hospice care. What we fail to realize is that death is a part of life and no person should have control of a natural condition. There are too many variables in giving such control regarding life to others. We must not let others be in the position to take advanage of the weak... Pallative and Hospice care will allow the dying to have "death with dignity" and have control over their pain. Euthanasia NO, Pallative/Hospice Care YES!
    If someone gets the talk from their doctors that they have "no hope", they are wrong...it is the physicians that are the gatekeepers of pallative/hospice care...

    February 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  232. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    The very thoughtful movie was They Shoot Horses Don't They? Not a bad argument all in all if the horse gets to decide.With modern medicine's ability to prolong life ( and potential for suffering) almost indefinitely, the question of death- with- dignity is not going away any time soon.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm |