Posted on January 17, 2020 at 9:31 PM
I am delighted to be the 2020 John and Marsha Ryan Bioethicist in Residence at the Southern Illinois University School of Law and School of Medicine. Join me at the law school on February 26 for “Medical Aid in Dying: Assessing the Illinois Patient Choices at End of Life Act.”
Nearly 110,000 Illinoisans die every year. Many of these patients want control over the timing and manner of their death. Indeed, terminally ill patients in Illinois already have and use several legal “exit options.” But they generally do not have access to medical aid in dying (MAID). This may soon change. Across the country, access to MAID has been in a rapid state of flux. Ten years ago, MAID was available in only two U.S. jurisdictions. Today, it is available in ten. This presentation reviews the history, status, and prevalence of MAID in the United States. It also summarizes new points of ethical debate over whether traditional eligibility requirements and safeguards are too permissive or too restrictive.