Respecting freedom and dignity at the end of life

The premier newspaper in North Carolina’s triangle published an op-ed urging support for legislation to enact MAID in NC, similar to the statutory provisions in place in 7 US jurisdictions. (An 8th jurisdiction, Montana, operates under an Open Practice regime relying on physicians applying the appropriate standard of care).

The op-ed is co-authored by Kory Swanson, the long time CEO of the influential and much respected John Locke Foundation and bespeaks the breadth of support for MAID. The John Locke Foundation is known to celebrate libertarian values of individual freedom and autonomy, and urgent a light touch from the government when interrupting an individual’s right to choose what is best for him or her. The editorial makes clear that MAID laws are consistent with the underlying philosophy of a libertarian approach to individual autonomy.

“No person can choose the time and place of one’s birth, but increasingly, people are seeking to have the final word on the time and place of their death when they’ve been diagnosed with an incurable, terminal and insufferable illness. “, the co-authors begin. They elaborate on the urgent need for North Carolina to join the growing national movement to afford an indispensable option to terminally ill individuals, who, although fully insured, although enrolled in hospice and receiving robust palliative care, may one day decide they simply don’t wish to continue an effort which is both agonizing and largely futile.

Photo of Edmund Tiryakian

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.