Let the People Be Heard

It is a curious phenomenon how often the electorate is ahead of the elected. We have seen this all too frequently. Opinion polls show one thing, yet elected officials smugly ignore these findings to pursue policies more in line with certain well heeled vested interests. Gun control is one such issue; the war in Iraq was another. Perhaps the vested interests have hired more persuasive lobbyists; perhaps campaign contributions tilt the scales. Perhaps there is doubt about the accuracy of the polling data. And perhaps there is an understanding that not everyone who responds to a poll actually goes out to vote.

So we will not succumb to the natural urge to rail at the heavens that the latest Gallup polls confirm the overwhelming support of Americans for MAID legislation, and indeed for euthanasia, which is not legal in any state. A fairly convincing 72% of poll responders support the right of an individual to get a life-ending prescription from a doctor, once they are diagnosed as terminal.https://news.gallup.com/poll/235145/americans-strong-support-euthanasia-persists.aspx t

And yet state legislatures have been very reluctant to give the people what they want because certain privileged groups are given veto rights over the people's choice. At some point, in a democracy, either the will of the majority counts, or the legislature must conspire to ignore its role of representation.

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Edmund Tiryakian

Ed Tiryakian, J.D., MBA, founded Dying Right NC in 2015 and is its Executive Director. He previously worked in international banking in Asia before retiring to his native NC.He believes End of Life issues are one of society’s most pressing challenges as we all live longer and the medicalization of the dying process continues to conflict with the individual’s right to choose his or her end.