There is an interesting (and lengthy) book review by Marcia Angell in the New York Review of Books, January 8, 2015, issue and it is well worth reading.
Here is a small extract:
“There is no doubt in my mind that hospice is the best option for helping dying patients during their last months, but I am not at all sure it is adequate for the death itself. I have long supported physician-assisted dying (and was a lead petitioner in getting a Death with Dignity Act put on the Massachusetts ballot). More than ever, I believe dying patients should have that choice.
“But after my husband’s death, I have come to favor euthanasia as well, for home hospice patients in the final, agonal stage of dying, who can no longer ingest medication orally. These patients are usually no longer mentally clear enough to give contemporaneous consent, but if they have earlier made it known that this is what they would wish, I believe that a duly appointed proxy should be able to have that wish carried out.”
Read the whole article at this site (copy & paste URL):
The review is of this book:
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, 282 pp., $26.00
The Hemlock Society USA (1980-2003) advocated — and proposed a model law — that voluntary euthanasia and medical assisted suicide both be approved, surrounded with rules and guidelines. For political expediency, later law campaigns removed the euthanasia clauses. Ms. Angell is one of the rare advocates who thinks similarly to Hemlock.