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BRIEF: Assisted Suicide: A Compassionate Path?


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In 2011, The Gallup Poll reported that most Americans (48 percent) believed doctor-assisted suicide to be morally wrong. But those who thought it was acceptable were closing in at 45 percent.

On Dec. 19 Friends of Compassion will discuss the issue of assisted suicide at its regular meeting. There, Jan Treecraft will tell the story of her husband's fatal battle with tongue cancer. According to an announcement from Friends of Compassion:

Dan Treecraft lived his life the way he wanted. He ended it that way, too. When diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2010, he decided against fighting the disease and began planning suicide. He died after breathing from a cylinder of nitrogen gas. Suicide is legal in Washington state and a group of close friends and family surrounded him, said his wife, Jan Treecraft. Treecraft rejected treatment for his cancer, holding to his belief that today’s medical system is run amok, an industry dominated by a perverse mantra of fighting the inevitability of death – at any cost.

The meeting, titled “Assisted Suicide: A Compassionate Path?,” will be from 7-9 p.m. at the Spokane Buddhist Temple.

Take the poll here.

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Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.


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