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Massachusetts’ “Death with Dignity” Initiative: Questions Regarding Question 2

Jacqueline Harvey, Ph.D.  

Download PDF here: Massachusetts-Death-With-Dignity-Initiative2

 

The 2012 “Act Relative to Death with Dignity” goes before Massachusetts voters on November 6. Question 2 asks voters directly whether to legalize physician-assisted suicide (PAS) or uphold existing state statutes.  If voters affirm Question 2, Massachusetts would join Oregon, Washington and Montana as the only states in the U.S. to allow this practice. Recent studies on PAS in these states paint a revealing portrait of what would transpire in Massachusetts if voters approve Question 2. However, unlike citizens of Oregon who passed the first “Death with Dignity Act” in 1997, voters in Massachusetts have the benefit of learning the actual outcomes of such legislation in other states.  Voters now have access to numerous studies that both vindicate opponents’ predictions about PAS and present even more concerns.

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