Village Square panel analyzes implications of legalizing the right to die

Village Square Panel disccues the right to die

Sara Varela


The debate about euthanasia and whether it should be legalized or not has increased over the past few years due to a series of controversial cases in the U.S.

Currently, euthanasia, which is defined as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy,” by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is legal only in eight states and one county of New Mexico.

The panelists, that included Associate Dean Henry Mack, ACLU Executive Director of Florida Howard Simon, and Dr. Marin Gillis, Chief of the Division of Ethics, Humanities, and the Arts at FIU, explored the moral and legal implications of using medicine to end lives.

“It’s the circumstances, the timing, and the manner of our death that I think is fundamental and that’s what we at the ACLU have fought to protect,” said Simon.

Dr. Gillis followed by explaining the current laws on euthanasia, which only allowed for terminally-ill patients with six months or less to live and that are capable of making decisions on their own.

“Nobody disagrees with the right of everyone to die a peaceful, pain-free death,” said Mack.

However, Mack questioned whether businesses that find euthanasia morally objectable and provide insurance for their employees should be forced to cover the expenses of the procedure.