The late Dr. Jack Kevorkian, aka "Dr. Death," who participated in more than 100 physician-assisted suicides, would have given a big thumbs up to this proposed legistation.
Four Michigan state senators introduced a bill earlier this month that would allow terminally ill patients to pursue physician-assisted death in Michigan, Bridge Michigan reports.
The state Sens. Mary Cavanagh of Redford Township, Kevin Hertel of St. Clair Shores, Sam Singh of East Lansing and Veronica Klinefelt of Eastpointe proposed legislation giving the green light for mentally competent patients to request a prescription for life-ending medication if a doctor determines they have less than six months to live.
“Patients deserve the trust and respect to make their own medical decisions, including the choice to determine their own timeline to end ongoing suffering during the oftentimes dark battle they face,” Cavanagh said in a statement, according to Bridge. “This is a compassionate policy that would provide Michiganders and their loved ones with peace of mind when facing terminal illness.”
In 1998, Michigan voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal for physician assisted suicides by 71 to about 29 percent. Currently it is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison for doctors to assist in a suicide in Michigan.
Ten states and Washington, D.C. currently allow medically-assistted suicides.
Kevorkian assisted in about 130 suicides.
In 1998, he was charged with assisting in the suicide of Thomas Youk, who had Lou Gehrig's disease. He served eights years in prison for second-degree murder and was paroled in 2007 after he agreed not to offer advice or assist in a suicide.
He died in June 2011 at age 83.