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Where Is It Legal In The World
by Katharina Buchholz 

Around the world, only a few countries have legalized assisted dying, but their number has been growing recently. The practice of both self-administered medication-assisted suicide and euthanasia – where a doctor administered deadly drugs upon request – have been legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg since the 2000s and has been practiced in Switzerland, which only allows the former, since the 1980s. Colombia legalized euthanasia in 2015 and assisted suicide this year and both types also became legal in Canada in 2015.

In the past two years, Spain, Austria and New Zealand have made euthanasia and assisted suicide legal. Similar laws also came into effect in several Australian states, starting with Victoria in 2019 and Western Australia in 2021. The remaining states in the country except for the Northern Territory will roll out these laws throughout the rest of 2022 and into 2023.

In the United States, the first states to legalize assisted suicide were Oregon in 1994, Washington in 2008, Montana in 2009 (via a state Supreme Court decision) and Vermont in 2013. The number of states who adopted the practice has risen recently, when it was legalized in California and Colorado in 2016, Hawaii, New Jersey and Maine in 2019 and New Mexico in 2021. Active euthanasia remains illegal in the country.

In Italy and Germany, national parliaments are currently grappling with legislating assisted dying after high court cases were decided in favor of proponents of the practice. While Germany has been refusing to dispense deadly drugs despite the high court decision, the first person in Italy died with the help of self-administered medication in June.

Like the types of assisted dying, who qualifies for them varies widely around the world, ranging from patients who are deemed terminally ill or those who suffer from a degenerative disease to those who are in severe pain or are considered incurably ill.

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    Wyoming Right To Life
    PO Box 287
    Cheyenne, WY  82003

    President: Marti Halverson
    Vice President: Open
    Secretary:  Sheila Leach
    Treasurer: Randy Rhodes

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