A recent case study fueled a long debate about whether right-to-die laws should apply to people with mental illness and disabilities. On February 15, Jennifer Gaudiani, an internal medicine doctor from Denver, published a paper in which she describes the deaths of three patients with anorexia nervosa.
Most United States’ aid-in-dying laws say adult patients can obtain the prescription if they have a terminal illness and less than six months to live. Dr. Gaudiani advocates for allowing patients who are dying from anorexia to end their lives on their own terms. She writes that, although anorexia doesn’t have delineated levels of severity like cancer, which has stages of progression and a terminal phase, it can be brutally lethal.
- Denver doctor helped patients with anorexia obtain aid-in-dying medication (coloradosun.com)
- Zornio: Medical aid-in-dying has many shades of gray (coloradosun.com)
- Terminal anorexia nervosa: three cases and proposed clinical characteristics | Journal of Eating Disorders | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)