The idea of doctor-assisted suicide has been growing in popularity in recent years. Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland have legalized voluntary euthanasia. Australia, France, South Africa and United Kingdom are considering similar measures. In the United States, five states have legalized physician assisted suicide via legislation (California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) and one state has legal physician assisted suicide via court ruling (Montana).
According to several recent studies, the reason patients gave for ending their live had to do more with psychological suffering and not physical ones. The majority of the people who choose assisted suicide are affluent and educated. They are used to being successful and they are used to being autonomous, so their illness is not how they see their identities. They are also used to being in control of their lives and that is how they want their deaths to be.
In the past, there was concern that assisted suicide will be used to finish off the poor and those who would be afraid to be a burden on their families. Yet based on the various studies, this fear has not turned out to be true. In fact, the vast majority of people choosing to end their lives are well off, and lack of access to health care has not been mentioned as issues of concern. They want to avoid the pain, they want to avoid the indignity and they want to remain in control until the very end.