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Holy Cross Professor Calls for Research-Based Arguments in Medical Aid-In-Dying Debate

Worcester Telegram & Gazette
February 19th, 2018 by 

Ara A. Francis, Associate Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department

Tom Rettig

In a commentary for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette‘s Faculty Forum, Holy Cross sociology and anthropology associate professor Ara Francis says that claims in the medical aid-in-dying debate should be made based on research.

“The Massachusetts End of Life Options Act raises important ethical questions that deserve attention and debate,” Francis told the Telegram. “However, arguments about the law’s social and political ramifications should be informed by existing research.”

The debate started heating up last December when the Massachusetts Medical Society became the 10th chapter to drop its opposition to medical aid-in-dying, increasing the likelihood of Massachusetts becoming the sixth U.S. state to allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medication.

According to Francis, the two arguments, one warning that insurance companies may encourage the use of medical aid-in-dying as a cost-saving measure, and second that increasing hospice or palliative care would adequately supplement the need for medical aid-in-dying, are contradicted by research coming from Oregon and Washington State.

To read more, visit Telegram.com.

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