Should Minnesota physicians be able to prescribe lethal medications?

A California lawsuit asks a court “to protect physicians from liability if they prescribe lethal medications to patients who are both terminally ill and mentally competent to decide their fate,” writes Anna Gorman for NPR.

The lawsuit argues that while it is against the law in California for anyone to assist in another’s suicide, these cases are not suicides. Rather, the suit argues, they are choices by a dying person on how his or her life should end and decisions about one’s own body protected under the state constitution.

Separately, two California state senators have proposed a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to certain terminally ill adults.

Three states — Oregon, Washington and Vermont — already have laws allowing physician-assisted deaths. Courts in New Mexico and Montana also have ruled that aid in dying is legal, and a suit was recently filed in New York.

Today’s Question: Should Minnesota physicians be able to prescribe lethal medications?