The lack of access to death with dignity in South Dakota led to the introduction of the Death with Dignity Act which is a Bill that allows terminally ill patients to make decisions over their deaths. However, several stakeholders are affected by this law either positively or negatively. The main stakeholders included in the Act are patients, their families, and religious institutions. Many stakeholders in South Dakota view the law as a solution to the lack of access to death with dignity for terminally ill patients.
Religious institutions play a crucial role in society and, as such, are major stakeholders affected by this law. Most people in South Dakota are affiliated with religious institutions which shape their opinions on various issues. Most of the patients who undergo euthanasia are adherents of different religious groups and thus affect the functioning of such institutions (Vargo, 2022). Religious institutions believe that God is the author of life and that man has no authority to decide the fate of another under whatever circumstance. They view the Death with Dignity Act as a law that perpetuates evil against people of faith (Srinivasan, 2019). The church argues that the passage of such an act disregards the authority of God as the author of life and threatens the dignity and sanctity of life. The Muslim faith is also against euthanasia as a solution to relieving the pain of terminally-ill patients (Madadin et al., 2020). These arguments dictate that euthanasia is a negative way to care for patients as it goes against some people’s faith.
Terminally ill patients and their families are major stakeholders affected by the Death with Dignity Act. Most fully embrace the law because it offers an avenue for them to get relief from the suffering they undergo as a result of illness. Many patients and their families are willing to end their lives painlessly by deciding where, when, and how they would like to die in peace (Hanning, 2019). The passage of the law in South Dakota would allow physician-assisted deaths to be conducted on terminally ill patients, giving them more control over their final days. Such a law would therefore affect stakeholders differently, where some would view it as a solution while others as a gross violation of human dignity and life.
Hanning, A. (2019). Author (iz) ing death: Medical aid-in-dying and the morality of suicide. Cultural Anthropology, 34(1), 53-77.
Madadin , M., Al Sahwan, H. S., Altarouti , K. K., Altarouti , S. A., Al Eswaikt, Z. S., & Menezes , R. G. (2020). The Islamic perspective on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Med Sci Law, 60(4), 278–286. Web.
Srinivasan, E. G. (2019). Bereavement and the Oregon Death with Dignity Act: How does assist death impact grief?. Death Studies, 43(10), 647-655.
Vargo, A. (2022). Death with Dignity in Canada: No Longer Limited to Only the Terminally-Ill. Voices in Bioethics, 8.