The term “right to die” is the idea that a person has the right to end their life or be voluntarily euthanized. In general, this refers to people with terminal illness and the belief that they should be able to end their life, turn down lifesaving treatments, or move forward with assisted suicide if they so desire.
This is a very controversial subject, as many people question the moral act of assisted suicide. Others have religious views that state that suicide is a sin. However, advocates of the idea of “right to die” believe that people should be allowed to end their suffering if faced with a terminal illness.
As of 2019, there are just a handful of U.S. states that have “right to die” laws. Those states are:
In Washington, D.C. assisted death or suicide is also legal.
In these states, it is legal for terminally ill patients to receive lethal medication from their doctors. In the state of Montana, there is even legal protection in place for doctors who write prescriptions for lethal medications when patients request them.
In New Mexico, a judge ruled that patients have to receive a lethal dose of medication if they are terminally ill.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are also legal in other parts of the world, including New Zealand, Colombia, and the Netherlands.