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You can be there at the end

There is a fine and thoughtful cover article in the current February edition of the magazine MOTHER JONES.

MY RIGHT TO DIE: Assisted suicide, My family, and Me
by Kevin Drum

It is now on bookstalls and at this web site

But it has one disappointing flaw in the last six paragraphs. Writer Drum says it is a crime to be in the presence of someone choosing to end their own life. WRONG. It is NOT a crime in the USA and probably nowhere else.

Yes, it is the crime of assisted suicide if someone present physically helps or provides the means. Big difference

The Hemlock Society and its successors have always stressed that careful
self-deliverance with friends or family with them was preferable; that is why peaceful methods and non-violence were always emphasized. Be there, but don’t touch. Nobody should have to die alone — unless that was their specific wish.

Of course, in the states (OR, WA, VT and CA) which now have Death With Dignity Acts allowing physician-assisted suicide for the dying, under certain rules, it is obviously not a crime for family to be present or help provided the doctor has prescribed the drugs.

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