Best and worst outcomes from the 2012 election
Voters across the political spectrum could find something to celebrate or decry, especially those of us here at The Times' Opinion Manufacturing Division, where we follow elections with a fervor that verges on the unhealthy. --Dan Turner
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Worst: Physician-assisted suicide measure fails
Physician-assisted suicide is an issue that gets too little attention given its importance for sufferers of terminal illnesses and their loved ones.
Only two states, Oregon and Washington, allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to pain-ridden patients with no chance of recovery, but Massachusetts voters had a chance to join them by approving Question 2 on the November ballot. The measure narrowly failed, done in by an aggressive campaign led by religious groups. There are profound questions about the wisdom of assisted suicide, especially concerning whether sick patients might be coerced to end their lives by family members or cost-conscious health professionals. But as a general principle it's better to leave such a deeply personal decision to individuals rather than the government. Other states should consider similar ballot measures.
Above: Alan and Margaret Purdy of San Marcos, Calif. Alan, 88, allegedly sat by the bedside of 84-year-old Margaret as she took her own life after enduring years of suffering from various ailments.