City of Tucson Supports 'Death With Dignity,' Urges Legislature to Legalize It
On December 15, 2015, the Tucson Mayor and City Council passed a Memorial by a unanimous vote supporting Aid in Dying (aka Death with Dignity). This is an option already available in several states, most recent being CA. Aid in Dying enables a competent, terminally ill adult to obtain a life-ending medication should their suffering become unbearable.
The Memorial was spear-headed by Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Councilpersons, Steve Kozachick, Karin Uhlich and Richard Fimbres. The memorial does not change the current laws, but it recognizes the growing public support for a humane and dignified end-of-life option. Aid in Dying provides the medical freedom of a competent, terminally ill adult – one who has been diagnosed with an incurable illness likely to cause death within six months – the right to request a prescription for life-ending medication, the option to fill that prescription, and the option to self-administer the medication at the time and place of that person's choosing.
The Memorial affirms that the City of Tucson:
- Respects the diversity of perspectives of its citizens
- Supports equal protection within the diversity of perspectives on end-of-life decisions
- Recognizes the practice of Aid in Dying as a legitimate individual liberty
Although Bisbee was the first Arizona municipality to go on record with its support of Aid in Dying, Tucson becomes the largest city in Arizona to recognize, respect and support the right of a terminally ill, mentally competent individual to end his or her suffering.
Tucson joins municipalities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco in support of Aid in Dying which in California, paved the way for the End of Life Option Act to become law.
A May 2015 Gallup poll revealed that 70% of US citizens are in favor of legalized Aid in Dying, which is presently authorized in the states of Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, and Vermont.