Increasing attention has been given to the topic of physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. Although these two are not the same, they are related to the growing acceptance of the death with dignity movement. Euthanasia is defined as a painless killing of a patient in order to relieve suffering and pain and is not legal in any of the States. While physician assisted suicide is the process of giving the patient them means to end their life; the physician does not administer the lethal dose. Six states in the United States (California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Montana) and Washington D.C. have legalized physician-assisted suicide. More on California’s legalization can be found here. The ethical dilemma for many is the fact that euthanasia and assisted suicide violate the medical principlism, which states that medical professionals are to respect the patient’s autonomy, do no harm to the patient.
–State-by-State Guide to Physician-Assisted Suicide