Physician-Assisted Suicide Up For Vote In Massachusetts

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On November 6, Massachusetts voters will determine whether the state will become the third to legalize physician-assisted suicide—the so called Death with Dignity initiative—for people with terminal illnesses. So far, two states—Oregon and Washington—have legalized physician-assisted suicide through voter-approved ballot initiatives.

Supporters of the proposal say that it gives those with no hope of a quality lifestyle the opportunity to die with dignity and quell suffering, while opponents respond that the measure is morally wrong.

"It is not a choice between life and death. It's a choice of the exact timing and the manner of death because these patients are dying," Dr. Marcia Angell, a supporter of the initiative and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine told NPR.

A September Suffolk University/7 NEWS poll found 64 percent of likely Massachusetts voters support the initiative. In October, YouGov America interviewed 498 registered voters in the state; it found that 65 percent of the registered voters would vote yes on the Death with Dignity initiative.

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