Bioethics Blogs

North Dakota Personhood Amendment – Impact on End-of-Life Care

On November 4, North Dakota residents will vote on eight ballot initiatives, one of which would amend the state constitution.

If passed, the ballot initiative would add a new section to article I of the North Dakota Constitution:  “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and defended.”

Planned Parenthood observes that this language is quite “sweeping as it contains no exceptions what so ever; not life of woman, health of woman, rape or incest. This could also ban access to birth control and to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).”  Indeed, this language is so broad (requiring the protection of life “at any stage,” it may also impact end-of-life care.

North Dakota Choose Life has contested the claim that the amendment will affect end of life care.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.