Desmond Tutu is one of the most respected men in the world. The archbishop and anti-apartheid activist was picked to head the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in South Africa and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
Tutu has not been in the news much recently as he has retired. However, now he is making something of a come back to activism as he is advocating for physician-assisted suicide. His inspiration for the position might be his own recent illnesses and wanting to have the right to take his own life when he is ready to do so.
The Guardian reported on this story in "Desmond Tutu: I want right to end my own life through assisted dying."
Physician-assisted suicide is perhaps the most controversial topic in elder law. Advocates and the elderly themselves are deeply divided over the issue. Doctors and other medical professionals who might be called upon to assist the terminally ill to take their own lives are also deeply divided on the issue.
In the U.S. only a handful of states have passed laws allowing the practice. It is illegal in most states and in most countries. Recently, the U.K. refused to allow it despite polls showing overwhelming public support for it.
This issue will remain controversial for a long time, perhaps forever. If you would like to know its legal status in your state, contact an elder law attorney.
Reference: Guardian (Oct. 7, 2016) "Desmond Tutu: I want right to end my own life through assisted dying."