8 States That Allow Euthanasia

Now that euthanasia is legal in several countries around the world, more of which you can learn at 10 countries where euthanasia or assisted suicide are legal, you might wonder the US states that allow euthanasia.

Despite its growing acceptance throughout the world, euthanasia is still a very controversial and conflicted topic. Many people who are against it consider it akin to murder, while others who support it consider it to be a charitable or merciful act. So what exactly is this controversial word? And what does it refer to? Euthanasia refers to a practice of ending someone’s life to ease their pain and suffering. The last part of the definition is especially important as this is what distinguishes euthanasia from murder. However, even though the purpose behind euthanasia is somewhat benevolent, it is generally classified as homicide all across the world; people believe that regardless of the intention, you are still taking someone’s life, which is a crime.

A lot of criticism for euthanasia comes from religion as well. Islam for example, considers the act of taking a life a crime regardless of how it occurs; even suicide is forbidden, so you can imagine there is little leeway for supporting euthanasia, especially active euthanasia. This is why you won’t even hear a debate on the merits and demerits of euthanasia in a Muslim country such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Pakistan. Of course, it’s not just Islam which is against euthanasia; most churches including the Roman Catholic Church have also denounced euthanasia and consider it to be a crime.

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In the United States, campaigns for the legalization of euthanasia have been undertaken for nearly a century now, having first started in the early 1930s. However, as of 2020, euthanasia remains illegal in the entire United States with no exception whatsoever, be it passive or active euthanasia. However, in lieu of euthanasia, a few states have legalized assisted dying. So what’s the difference between the two? In assisted dying, while the person receives some assistance, he voluntarily ends his own life as opposed to euthanasia where one person has to act to cause another’s death. To me personally, there isn’t really much of a difference in both; at the end of the day, both acts result in the death of a person to ease their suffering, which I think is justification enough. But regardless of the controversies behind the practice, let’s take a look at the states where assisted dying has been legalized:

8.  New Jersey

New Jersey is the latest state to have legalized assisted dying/suicide, with the law coming into effect on August 1, 2019, after four years of infighting among the lawmakers. Now, in New Jersey, a patient who has less than six months to live from a terminal disease, can opt for assisted dying. The diagnosis needs to have been made by at least two doctors. To ensure that the patient is committed to assisted suicide, two written requests, need to be made with a gap of at least 15 days.

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