The European Way to Die

February 7, 2023

(Harper’s Magazine) – Let’s suppose—the idea isn’t so absurd—that I’m able, by way of connections or skill at navigating the dark web, to get my hands on some pentobarbital, an apparently painless, lethal poison. Then suppose that a friend for whom life has become unbearable asks me to give him some. How should I react? There’s no question that doing as he asks would enhance his individual liberty. Is that justification enough? In the ten American states (plus the District of Columbia) where assisted suicide is legal, the portion of sick people who wind up not taking the cocktail they have been given is far from negligible: it potentially approaches half in some jurisdictions. (Read More)