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Chapter 9: Physician-Assisted Suicide, Aid in Dying, and Hospice

Charles A. Corr concludes this section with a discussion of an emerging ethical issue, physician-assisted suicide, legal now in three states—Oregon, Washington, and Montana. In many ways, physician-assisted suicide might be seen as the natural result of a social trend emphasizing the value of autonomy in end-of-life care. Certainly there is a generational perspective as well. The Baby Boom generation has always prized autonomy, individuality, and an ethos of noninterference. Corr offers a history of the Death with Dignity Act in Oregon, an examination of the ways it has been implemented as well as its effects, and most important, a sensitivity to the resultant ethical dilemmas posed to hospice programs and individuals involved in end-of-life care.

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