What about mental illnesses?

How medical aid-in-dying laws work

While having a history of mental illness is not automatically disqualifying, Death with Dignity laws in the United States have no provisions for people seeking to end their lives due to long-term suffering with  mental illnesses. Every death with dignity law in the United States minimally requires that the patient be:

  • An adult.
  • Terminally ill with a six-month prognosis, confirmed by two physicians.
  • Capable of making decisions without impairment.
  • Physically able to self-ingest (take into the digestive system) the medication.

There are no exceptions. Further, euthanasia is not legal anywhere in the United States for humans. See state-provided FAQs for more information.

What does this mean for people suffering with mental illness?

The only organizations who might be legally able to work with people from the United States who are suffering with long-term debilitating mental illness are Dignitas and Pegasos, both of which are located in Switzerland and are open to non-residents.

Please contact Dignitas or Pegasos directly to learn whether they may be able to help.

Maine Death with Dignity cannot help with these decisions and has no expertise with regard to mental health assessments and/or treatments.