SAFEGUARD DD FOR LIFE-ENDING DECISIONS
THE PATIENT MUST BE AN ADULT RESIDENT OF THE STATE
The patient who is considering life-ending decisions
must be at least 18 years of age
and a legal resident of the state (or country)
in which the life-ending
Birth certificate, driver's license,
& other commonly-accepted proofs of age and residence
should be easy for the patient to provide.
When the patient is registered for hospital or hospice care,
the questions of age and address are usually already settled.
These safeguards are often assumed rather than specified.
But a few circumstances make them relevant.
For example, if there is some question raised
about the assumed age of the patient,
then it might have to be proved that the patient is of adult years
—at least 18 years old in most places on the Earth—
so that it is clear that the
patient is the primary decider
and not the parents
of the patient or some other guardian.
Likewise, if the patient is not a legal resident of
the state (or country)
then various problems could arise for any providers of services.
And many states (and countries) do not want to
patients from other places coming to their state (or country) in order
This has not happened in
which does have a residency requirement.
But it has happened in
Switzerland, which does not require residency.
HOW ADULTHOOD AND RESIDENCY DISCOURAGE
IRRATIONAL SUICIDE AND OTHER PREMATURE
suicide is known to be a problem for
So requiring patients to be at least 18 years of age
will discourage some teen-agers from using
as a cover for what most people would call an irrational suicide
self-killing that is harmful, foolish, capricious, & regrettable.
When a child has a condition that makes him or her
a candidate for chosen death,
the parents of that child are the legal deciders for him or her.
Because the parents are already adults,
they are assumed to be wiser than their children.
Children need adult guidance in making most
decisions in life,
especially when the children are very young
and when the decisions are irreversible—such
as choosing death.
Preventing children from even thinking of death as the escape
should encourage them to seek other ways to solve their problems.
In almost all cases, when teens choose death, it is too soon.
The residency requirement of some states and
can discourage people of unstable mind and unsettled address
from rather foolishly hoping
that going to a place where chosen death is permitted
will be the answer to all of their problems.
The state or country should not help such persons to die.
However, if a certain state or country legalizes the
causing premature death
rather than establishing some process of applying for death,
then being an adult or a resident is not relevant,
since people of any age or residence can suffer premature death.
When anyone is harmed by the behavior of anyone else
the age or address of the victim should not be considered.
January 2007; revised 8-28-2008; 9-10-2008; 10-9-2008; 2-12-2010;
5-21-2011; 2-4-2012; 2-7-2012; 2-23-2012; 3-24-2012; 8-3-2012;