EDITORIAL: Indiana should consider assisted suicide bill

Feb. 2—A bill that would legalize medically assisted suicide in Indiana is, unfortunately, apt to die in committee.

In Saturday's newspaper, reporter Caleb Amick relayed the story of Carrol Krause, an Indiana woman with an incurable tumor who starved to death as no medically assisted option was legally available to her.

Our modern medical advancements are a marvel in the realm of extending life, but what considerations should be made for quality of life?

Ending one's own life is an emotionally charged topic and often raises moral and ethical concerns.

The bill gives a list of requirements for one to be considered for medical assistance in death.

The person must be 18 or older; terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less; capable of making their own choices; and must be doing so voluntarily.

The bill as written raises many questions. Estimating how much time someone has to live is exactly that — an estimate. No one, even doctors, can predict that with certainty.

What becomes of individuals who lose their ability to communicate or even comprehend their situation?

The current bill may not be ideal, and there are many reasons why someone might object to medically assisted suicide. And that is exactly why this bill ought to make it out of committee for a vote in the General Assembly.

Eleven states currently have laws that allow for medically assisted suicide in specific circumstances, and 16 other states are considering it. Indiana should be joining that conversation.

The Public Health Committee should consider the bill and allow it, or some version of it, to advance to the Indiana House floor for a robust discussion of this difficult issue.