Editorial

EDITORIAL: Is ‘Death with Dignity’ Good for Black Community?  

Contrary to popular belief, Blacks in America tend to be more conservative, especially when it comes to long-established attitudes about religion, family, education and politics.

That said, we see a paradox in the D.C. Council’s decision earlier this week to approve legislation that now allows physicians to prescribe fatal drugs to terminally ill residents.

The council voted 11 to 2 in favor of the bill and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says while she’s not sure if she will sign the bill, she does not intend to exercise her power to veto the decision.

And so, after more than a year of intense deliberations among opponents, advocates, lobbyists and legislators, Washington, D.C. becomes the seventh jurisdiction nationwide to allow the practice.

Historically, African Americans don’t tend to support suicide in any form or fashion.

Nonetheless, the District now bears the distinction of being the first predominantly-Black community in the U.S. to legalize what has now been referred to as “death with dignity.”

We’ll need to watch what unfolds. We’ll need to keep an eye on our senior citizens and those who have little say in their personal affairs so that they are not, as some fear, coerced into an early death.

From our perspective, the jury is still out.

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