Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics

Special Section: Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Murder or Mercy?

CQ Interview: Derek Humphry on Death with Dignity Thomasine Kushner

Thomasine Kushner

CQ: Do you see the Patient Self-Determination Act as a positive step toward the goals you and the Hemlock Society have been pursuing for many years?

DH: The main value is education; it has impressed on health professionals that the federal government backs right-to-die issues. The federal government did not legislate when you would die or how you would die, but it did say providers must obey state regulations, and if you do not they are going to withdraw our funds. I am a great believer that legislation in needed to back up education. We were enormously pleased to see the Patient Self-Determination Act come into law without much fuss. It is a very useful step.