The legislation allows medically-assisted death for terminally-ill adults facing intolerable physical or psychological suffering.
Twenty years ago, no one in the United States could claim a right to "physician aid in dying" (also called "physician-assisted suicide"). Today, more than 52 million Americans can.
Government gridlock means there’s no universal set of rules on who can opt to end their lives.
But some are disappointed the bill won't let patients with dementia and other mental conditions give advance consent.
Instead of concentrating on my time with my mother, I spent most of it worrying. It's not the inevitability of the outcome that matters in these situations, it's the little bits of control we are given in times where so much of it has been taken away. And that would have changed so much.
The End of Life Option Act, which allows physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients, was signed
And that is what Gawande emphasizes in this book: choice. The cases he relates are all about allowing the patient to decide: should I have another surgery when death could be less than weeks away?
Somewhat recently a cardiac arrest survivor I helped to resuscitate was diagnosed with a terminal disease. This brought about the question, is it better to go quickly, not knowing the end is near, or is it better to have extra time on this earth, but know that you and your family may have to endure an end full of potential suffering?