Intellectually disabled patients eligible for assisted suicide
Angelus Staff Jul 20, 2016
The End of Life Option Act may soon include regulations to allow patients “with significant intellectual disabilities” to kill themselves even though the bill states that eligible patients must be mentally competent.
Eligible terminally ill patients must have the “capacity to make medical decisions” and have the “physical and mental ability to self-administer the aid-in-dying drug,” the bill states.
However, the Department of Developmental Services is trying to implement regulations to ensure that intellectually disabled patients receive euthanasia without harming others.
This month in a proposed emergency action notice the government agency wrote that mentally disabled patients “often lack safety awareness” and “could inadvertently lose possession of the aid-in-dying drugs” causing harm in residents and staff. Therefore, new “clear directives” are required.
The notice also urged that those terminally ill patients committed to a mental facility by court order should receive prompt attention when they request assisted suicide.