At 16:42 04/05/99 , Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>unlike other forms of assistance, closes off the possibility of getting
>confirmation from the service recipient.
I don't see any problem here, there are lots of important decisions where lives of people are committed - marriage, lifetime commitments to military or religious careers, not to mention agreements of war and peace where governments give prior authorization on disposing of many people's lives. Possibility of mistake in the verification of decisions somehow hasn't stopped the same government from prohibiting death penalty.
Pressing a button is a symbolic act on the part of the patient - no more physical or verifiably intentional than saying "doctor, please, could _you_ press the button". However, a lucid request to the doctor to administer a large dose of morphine (mixed with heroin or MDMA) and then press the button can make things much easier for the patient. Or for a healthy person who for some reason decided that s/he concluded everything s/he wanted to do in life and considers its continuation undesirable.
> Legalizing ordinary suicide addresses the only real problem.
I agree, that would be a good start.