Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to consider patients' right to die

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Wednesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear a civil suit focused on physician-assisted death. It argues that the lack of such an option for terminal patients here with less than six months to live is a violation of fundamental rights.  Doctors who provide such assistance could be charged with manslaughter. This is a deeply controversial issue around the country, and here in Massachusetts where a ballot initiative supporting medically assisted dying failed in 2012.

First, we hear from Dr. Roger Kligler, the plaintiff in the case. Dr. Kligler is a retired physician who has been living with cancer for 20 years and has been spending his retirement advocating for patient rights to access medical aid in dying. Then, we learn about the legal arguments at play with Wendy Parmet, the Matthews University Distinguished Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the Center for Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

This segment aired on March 8, 2022.

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Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.


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Frannie Monahan is a producer for WBUR’s daily news and culture podcast, "The Common."



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