Choosing To Die

 - John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore/Getty Images

Choosing To Die

Until about six years ago, helping the terminally ill end their lives in the U.S. was illegal everywhere except Oregon. Now five states have right-to-die options. Diane and her guests discuss the growing "aid in dying" movement.

The aid in dying movement is growing. Montana, Oregon and Washington already have laws permitting right-to-die options. In January, a New Mexico district court authorized physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to mentally competent terminally ill adults. And last year, Vermont passed a law permitting patients to choose what advocates call "death with dignity." Public support of assisted dying has expanded in recent years as baby boomers deal with the death of their parents, many of whom are living into their 80s and 90s and suffering from diseases linked to longevity, such as dementia and many types of cancer. Diane and her guests discuss the aid in dying movement and what is driving its growth.

Guests

Barbara Coombs Lee

president, Compassion & Choices. She co-authored the nation’s first death with dignity law in Oregon that took effect in 1997 and was a nurse and physician assistant before becoming a private attorney.

Dr. Katherine Morris

surgical oncologist and cancer researcher in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dr. James Lieberman

clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry, George Washington University School of Medicine.

Alexa Fraser

daughter of a terminally ill patient who ended his own life.

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