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The Challenges ALS Patients Face In Using Death With Dignity


Nomadic Lass via Flickr, Creative Commons

Earlier this week, we heard from Summer Whisman, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) three years ago at age 32. Since then, the degenerative neurological disease has robbed her of her ability to do a lot of things for herself, including walking, eating, and talking. She communicates using a computer that reads the movements of her eyes.

Whisman explained that she has decided to use Washington’s Death with Dignity law, which allows terminally ill patients to obtain medication to end their own lives, but she faces some particular challenges when it comes to complying with the law’s requirement that patients be able to self-administer the medication. 

Today, we follow up to find out more about how people like Summer Whisman are able to use Death with Dignity laws in Oregon and Washington.

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