Physician Assisted Suicide and the Death Penalty

Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2012 09:41 am
To get a lethal prescription one must be:

Over 18
Competent to make their own medical decisions
Have 6 months left to live

A convict sentenced to the death penalty could easily meet these three basic requirements.

Theoretically, could they use the PAS law to kill themselves?

Should they be able to?
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Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2012 10:10 am

I don't know.

In fairness it would depend on how much time there was left until they were to be put to death. If they've exhausted their appeals and death-by execution is around the corner, I'd be tempted to have them wait. The problem there of course is that if they are suffering from a terminal illness, they'd likely have medications which would diminish the usual power associated with watching a person get their lethal injection, facing the firing squad, attend their hanging, being gassed or being electrocuted.

So is it fair to make them wait until the very end or should an alternative be offered? Well, a solution would be to have them sign a waiver allowing the death penalty to administrated immediately, refusing any further appeal. Additionally, whatever method of execution was going to be used, must still be used. So, yes, in a sense, I would allow them that right, it just won't be carried forth in the same way as it would be for a non-inmate.
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2012 05:08 pm
I'm not sure which questions your no, yes, and I don't know go to since I asked two questions. It seems I didn't structure my post very well.

I was really wondering about convicts that were not terminally ill but had six months left to live.

There have been many people who received the fatal prescriptions but didn't use them. Some of them have outlived their 6 month estimated life span. In light of that I'm not sure that the possibilities of stays or further appeals should enter in to this hypothetical.

Does the temptation to make them wait have something to do with vindication? Would they be somehow paying less for their crime if they were allowed to have some control over their execution? Would we be cheating the victims in some way but not carrying out the execution in the normal way?
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