A leukemia patient threatens with lawsuit unless euthanasia approval is obtained. Christie White, a 53 year old woman suffering from leukemia for the past 7 years has decided to sue the state’s attorney general and San Francisco for not giving her the right to a peaceful and dignified death.
The patient wants the state of California to take down the doctor-patient legal barrier that inhibits her and many other patients with a few more days to live to have a dignified death.
In California, it is illegal for health care professionals to help or advise patients on the subject of voluntary euthanasia. The law however, does not apply to doctors involved in the euthanasia of terminal, mentally competent patients.
With this lawsuit, Christie White hopes that to convince the San Francisco Court to get rid of the current misconceptions. One of her arguments behind this legal action was that doctors are not getting involved in a person’s suicidal attempt but rather giving them an alternative to all the pain and suffering that many terminally ill patients go through. Physician-assisted death helps patients receive a peaceful death.
The lawsuit was filed by the patient’s attorneys from the Disability Rights Legal Center. Five doctors who are for the physician-assisted suicide have also gotten involved.
The voluntary euthanasia of terminally ill patients as a service offered by physicians is a very controversial subject. The debate regarding whether or not to legalize it is nowhere close to being finished. There are only a few countries worldwide that agree with the conception of physician-assisted suicide and off these kind of medical services.
In California, two state senators proposed a law last month according to which doctors should be given the permission to assist terminally ill patients in ending their lives. The method would be carried out by administering a lethal dose of medication. It is, however, unknown whether the bill will be approved to become a law.
In Oregon, for example, the Death with Dignity Act, approved on October 27, 1997, gives terminally-ill Oregonians the option of a physician-assisted suicide by prescribing a lethal dose of medication for the patient’s voluntary self-administration.
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