Iowans interested in end-of-life issues and assisted suicide met yesterday in Marshalltown to talk about organizing Iowa’s first chapter of the Hemlock Society. The group supports assisted suicide, the right of a person to choose the time and manner of their own death. Marshalltown resident and group organizer Biff Dysart understands that some people are “turned off” by talking about death. Interested potential members are looking to legalize assisted suicide, as Oregon has done in its state laws. The Oregon law puts safeguards on the process of assisted suicide including physician review, and Dysart says it can be a relief for the terminally ill. As a baby-boomer, Dysart says he’s already seen one parent die, and would like to offer the option to let Iowans alleviate pain and suffering. Dysart says an Iowa Poll a few years ago found 51-percent of Iowans favored assisted suicide or euthanasia, and just 38-percent against, and he notes there are some undecided folks, too.
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