It was almost exactly two years ago that two North Carolina Representatives – both Democrats – filed a bill in the House that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state. The other three sponsors on the bill -- also Democrats. The proposed legislation passed its first reading in the House and went to the Judiciary Committee – where it never emerged because, bill supporters say, it was too close to the crossover date in the Legislature. That day is the last for a bill to pass out of the chamber in which it was introduced and move into the other chamber – in this case, the Senate, for consideration.
There’s hope – as we’ll hear on this edition of CoastLine among death with dignity supporters – that the legislation will be introduced again this session. There isn’t a lot of time left. This session’s crossover date: April 27th.
But on this edition of CoastLine, we’re also going to hear from those who oppose this legislation – who say it not only raises the obvious questions about the sanctity of human life – but it sets up a dangerous and slippery for the deadly expression of implicit bias.
Jennifer Hawkins, Associate Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Duke University; Faculty Affiliate at the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and the History of Medicine at Duke’s School of Medicine
Carol Cleigh Sutton, North Carolina State Coordinator for Not Dead Yet, a national, grassroots disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia
Edmund Tiryakian, Co-founder and Executive Director of Dying Right NC, a nonprofit that advocates for death with dignity legislation in North Carolina based on the model of the current laws in Oregon and California.