Bioethics News

Clinton fumbles on end-of-life choices

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Clinton’s response is at 2.00 minutes 

After California, the biggest state in the US, legalized assisted suicide, and after a video by Brittany Maynard went viral on YouTube, you might think that candidates for the White House would have clear and crisp opinions on its ethics and feasibility.

But when Hillary Clinton was asked for her opinion in a New Hampshire town hall debate, she was stumped. “This is the first time I’ve been asked that question,” she told an 81-year-old man with colon cancer. Fumbling for words, she produced a few woolly platitudes. At least it is clear that she is opposed to involuntary euthanasia.

“We need to have a conversation in our country. There are states, as you know that are moving to open up the opportunity without criminal liability for people to make this decision, in consultation by their families, even, in some cases, with medical professionals.

But the issue is whether the medical professionals want to be involved or just be counselors. So it is a crucial issue that people deserve to understand from their own ethical, religious, faith-based perspective.

So here’s how I think about it.

I want — I want, as president, to try to catalyze that debate because I — I believe you’re right, this is going to become an issue more and more often. We are, on the good side, having many people live longer, but often, then, with very serious illnesses that they can be sustained on, but at some point, don’t want to continue with the challenges that poses.

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.