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May 21, 2014

The Changing Legal Climate for Physician Aid in Dying

Author Affiliations
  • 1Hall Center for Law and Health, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis
  • 2Health Law Institute, Hamline University School of Law, St Paul, Minnesota
  • 3School of Medicine, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento
JAMA. 2014;311(19):1961-1962. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4117

While once widely rejected as a health care option, physician aid in dying is receiving increased recognition as a response to the suffering of patients at the end of life. With aid in dying, a physician writes a prescription for life-ending medication for an eligible patient. Following the recommendation of the American Public Health Association, the term aid in dying rather than “assisted suicide” is used to describe the practice.1 In this Viewpoint, we describe the changing legal climate for physician aid in dying occurring in several states (Table).

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