Interactive Infographic: State Laws for Medical Aid-in-Dying

In six states and the District of Columbia, terminally ill patients can get a perscription for a life-ending drug, and several additional states are considering legalizing the practice.

By | August 17, 2017

Medical aid-in-dying—a physician’s prescription for a lethal dose of a drug to end a patient’s life—is legal for terminally ill patients in six states and the District of Columbia. A further 30 states have been considering legislation on medical aid-in-dying during this year’s legislative session, according to advocacy group Death with Dignity. Euthanasia—the practice of assisting in someone else’s death directly, for example, by physician-administered lethal injection—is currently not legal anywhere in the United States. (Click the labeled states for more information about their practices.)

DEVELOPED BY KARL PAWLOWICZ

Since we developed this map, three additional states have proposed legislation regarding medical aid-in-dying: Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

See world map for an overview of practices by country.

Correction (August 29): This map has been updated to correctly identify the light orange–shaded states as those considering legislation, while the medium orange states have no proposed legislation. The Scientist regrets the error.

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