Former archbishop and Noble Peace Prize winner puts his support behind physician-assisted suicide.

Desmond Tutu led the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in South Africa and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 but is now retired. Now he has taken on a new cause of physician-assisted suicide and advocates the right to take his own life, according to The Guardian in “Desmond Tutu: I want right to end my own life through assisted dying.”

Physician-assisted suicide is perhaps the most controversial topic in elder law. Advocates and the elderly themselves are deeply divided over the issue. Doctors and other medical professionals who might be called upon to assist the terminally ill to take their own lives are also deeply divided on the issue.

In the U.S. only a handful of states have passed laws allowing the practice. It is illegal in most states and in most countries. Recently, the U.K. refused to allow it despite polls showing overwhelming public support for it.

This issue is unlikely to be resolved in the near future.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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