Support For Euthanasia Growing In The US

CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-New research shows more than half of all Americans now support assisted suicide.

Yet it’s a class D felony in Tennessee.
Psychologist and UTC professor, Dr. Elizabeth O’Brien feels social changes are leading more people to chose quality of life rather than quantity.

Dr. Elizabeth O’Brien, Psychologist, "A disease that is going to prevent you from living that 20 years and being mobile, being active being able to make your own decisions independently, yes you still have the 20 years but is it the quality of life that you would chose for yourself?"

Tennessee Hospice officials believe there’s an opportunity for dialogue on euthanasia.

However they also feel pain control for the elderly is improving year by year.

Mike Dietrich, Executive Director, TN Hospice Organization,"Dire conditions that is something that they would want to have an option, and I think it’s really fascinating to see other states, a couple of them, out west are even discussing expanding their current laws."

Leading pro-life campaigner Brad Mattes believes the affordable health care act favors assisted suicide supporters.

Brad Mattes, "For instance the lady in Oregon that recently committed suicide because of her brain tumor. Her insurance company turned her down for cancer medicine, but they offered to pay for the assisted suicide lethal medication."

Mattes doesn’t want the US to follow the example of countries like Holland where assisted suicides have been legal for more than a decade.

"They now estimate that they euthanize 650 children every year. Also they recently euthanized a patient who said one problem was ringing in her ears."

Euthanasia is punishable by up to 12 years in jail in Tennessee.

   Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vermont already allow physician assisted deaths.

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