On Tuesday, Bisbee became the first city in Arizona to approve a "Death with Dignity" resolution. The city council vote was close: 4-3.
Bisbee Councilwoman Joan Hansen's proposal doesn't change the law, but it at least acknowledges the increasing support for "humane and dignified" end-of-life options in the state and around the country. It also asks for Cochise County attorney to use prosecutorial discretion in de-prioritizing cases prosecuting people who have supported, been present or facilitated a loved one's death in these circumstances.
The movement allows terminally ill adults—who have been diagnosed with an incurable illness likely to cause death within 6 months—to request medication that'll facilitate ending their life. "The option to fill that prescription, and the option to self-administer the medication at the time and place of that person's choosing," a media release from the Bisbee Aid in Dying group says.
The resolution states that the city of Bisbee:
- 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,
- And, while not a legally enforceable document, urges prosecutorial discretion by the Cochise County Attorney in de-prioritizing cases involving prosecution of a person who has supported, been present, or facilitated a loved one to advance the time of his or her imminent death when facing intolerable suffering.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, West Hollywood, and the counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Santa Cruz, Alameda in California have passed a similar resolutions in support of California's End of Life Option Act, the press release says.
A May 2015 Gallup poll
says that nearly 70 percent of U.S. residents are in favor of legalized Aid in Dying, which has already gotten the green light in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont.