Debate about physician-assisted suicide gains ground in Lawrence, Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. - A petition drive is underway in Lawrence, Kan., to make physician-assisted suicide legal in Kansas. 

Helen Gilles is a member of the Older Women's League of Lawrence, which started the petition. 

She said she's always believed that people's lives should not be prolonged if that person can no longer live a vital life.

John Carney, President of the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo., said that people are scared about experiencing pain at the end of their lives and afraid that their wishes will not be carried out.

Carney said physicians need to do a better job reassuring patients that their wishes will be followed and that there is comfort to relieve their pain.

The debate comes during National Healthcare Decision Day when people are encouraged to visit with their families and fill out forms indicating their end of life wishes.  Those forms are available at the Center for Practical Bioethics.

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