to guide group discussion:
1. If we are humane when we don’t let animals suffer, then why should we let humans suffer? What is the difference in the value of human life vs. animal life?
2. What might be some consequences of assisted suicide legalization combined with an aging population? (Consider things like overloaded Social Security and Medicare programs.)
3. Do you think a “duty to die” mentality (people feeling pressure to end their lives to avoid being a burden) would eventually take hold if assisted suicide were legalized?
4. If assisted suicide is a triumph of compassion and autonomy, how can unassisted suicide be considered a tradgedy that society should work to prevent? (Think Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.)
5. What are the unintended consequences of legalizing assisted suicide? How does allowing some patients to choose assisted suicide remove choice from others?
6. What role does an entitlement mentality play in the demand for assisted suicide?
7. Should people who die from suicide (assisted or non-assisted) be allowed to donate their organs? Is that turning a negative into a positive or does it act as an encouragement to individuals to justify their intended suicide as something that will help others?
8. In end of life decisions, is it responsible and compassionate medical care to withold water and basic nutrition- no matter how it is delivered to the patient? (Example: Terri Schiavo)
9. What are your thoughts on mental illness (grief, depression, etc.) as a valid reason for assisted suicide? Should assisted suicide be allowed on the basis of a person’s intense grief?