Painful Debate

Should Congress prohibit right-to-die measures?

It took years for Oregonians to settle the prickly question of whether doctors should be able to help people kill themselves. But a majority of the state's voters made clear--twice--that they favor physician-assisted suicides, at least in the limited cases of terminally ill people expected to live less than six months.

The initiatives that approved assisted suicide had all the messy attributes of democracy, including emotional debate and dumb ads, but the state has carried out the law with care. Oregon hasn't become a Hemlock Society convention--only 15 people committed suicide with a doctor's help last year--and other states are mulling...

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