Legal assisted suicide could be coming to seventh US state within weeks


In a nation founded on the principles of ultimate freedom, a debate still rages over where the limits of our bodily sovereignty begin and end.

There is, of course, the abortion debate.  This is not so much an issue of bodily autonomy as it is a question of whose freedom of religion will reign supreme.  Does the atheist mother’s freedom best the evangelical Christian’s freedom?  It’s a debate far too complicated to tackle today.

And, as a staunch libertarian, I’d like to see both religion and abortion far outside of the purview of our obese and ineffective federal government.

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But when it comes to assisted suicide, the argument shifts a bit, doesn’t it?  We’re not talking about the untapped and limitless potential of an unborn child.  No, we’re wondering about the quality of life of someone who has been living it.

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And who better to know your own quality of life than one’s self?

Maine lawmakers have spoken up in this debate, and made known where they stand on the subject.

The Maine Legislature voted Tuesday to legalize assisted suicide, with supporters declaring it in line with the state’s tradition of individualism and opponents insisting the practice tempts fate.

The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who has not indicated whether she will let it become law. Her office said she has not yet taken a position.

The proposal had failed once in a statewide vote and at least seven previous times in the Legislature. If Mills signs it, Maine would join seven other states, including New Jersey this year, with similar laws, according to the Death With Dignity National Center and the Death With Dignity Political Fund.

Maine’s possible legal change wouldn’t see would-be Jack Kevorkians driving around in a van, performing smiling roadside executions, however.

The law would simply allow Mainers to be prescribed a lethal dose of medication for self application.

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