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The Economist Endorses Aid in Dying, Publishes Cover Story and Pol

By Sean Crowley

The Economist today published a 4,600+ word cover story about medical aid in dying, “Campaigns to let doctors help the suffering and terminally ill to die are gathering momentum across the West,” and an Ipsos MORI poll the magazine commissioned of people in the United States and 14 other countries.

The article quoted Dan Diaz (widower of death-with-dignity advocate Brittany Maynard) and Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, who coauthored the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.

The story noted:

“The popular desire for assisted dying is beyond question … 

 “In Oregon, palliative care also improved after the Death with Dignity law came in. A survey of doctors found that having to prepare for conversations about assisted dying had nudged the majority to learn more about terminal patients’ other options … 

“Doctor-assisted dying seems not to weaken public faith in the medical profession: surveys show that doctors are trusted as much where it is allowed as where it is not.”

The Economist also published an editorial endorsing the option of medical aid in dying, “Doctors should be allowed to help the suffering and terminally ill to die when they choose.”

The editorial concluded:

“… draft bills, ballot initiatives and court cases are progressing in 20 more states and several other countries (see article) …

“In a secular society, it is odd to buttress the sanctity of life in the abstract by subjecting a lot of particular lives to unbearable pain, misery and suffering. And evidence from places that have allowed assisted dying suggests that there is no slippery slope towards widespread euthanasia …

“How, then, should assisted dying work? For many the model is Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.”

You can read The Economist cover story by clicking here.

You can read The Economist editorial by clicking here.

You can read The Economist poll by clicking here: