Death with Dignity legislation offers compassion and control

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Esmé E. Deprez with her father Ronald David Deprez and her daughter Fern Elinor Deprez-Lowther, March 2020 on Yarmouth, Maine. Photo by Alexander Lowther

Nine states, including California, have enacted Medical Aid in Dying legislation, allowing those who are terminally ill to end their lives peacefully by taking doctor-prescribed medication. The process of qualifying for this legislation is rigorously managed — few people fit the criteria and even fewer decide ultimately to follow through. So what’s the importance of control in how we face death? Why do endings matter, and not just for those who die?



Andrea Brody