By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Derek Humphry, the "father" of the modern assisted suicide lobby in America and co-founder of the Hemlock Society, now Compassion & Choices, is urging the assisted suicide lobby to extend the criteria for assisted suicide laws and to legalize euthanasia (lethal injection) in America.
In an article published on his website, Humphry states:
Passing these so-called ‘prescription laws’ is a wonderful start but it is not the complete answer.
The future in the choice in dying movement lies with a deliberate widening of the scope of people for whom we will campaign publicly and whom we will help. (This is already happening in Europe.) Then who?
Humphrey outlines five directions that the assisted suicide lobby in America should go:
1. It is time to consider more seriously offering to help persons with long-term, untreatable, serious mental illness.
2. Persons with what I call ‘terminal old-age’ whose advanced years and accompanying medical problems no longer make their life worth living.
3. We should begin to argue for the current Death With Dignity Acts now passed in the four states to be improved. Humphrey suggests that the laws be extended to include people who are likely to die within 12 months, rather than 6 months, and to legalize euthanasia (lethal injection) for people who cannot swallow.
4. We must think through and tackle the problem of when and how Alzheimer’s patients and persons with long-term degenerative diseases can be helped to die ...
5. Long-term, we should consider opening a clinic to help the sort of people I’ve just been talking about.
Humphry concludes his article by stating that these are his thoughts only.