Christy O'Donnell, who has advanced lung cancer, is one of several California patients suing for the right to get a doctor's help with prescription medicine to end their own lives if and when they feel that's necessary. YouTube hide caption

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The Rev. Vernon Holmes leads a Lutheran congregation near Sacramento, Calif., that supports the state's right-to-die bill. He describes his faith as promoting quality of life. Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio hide caption

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Robert Schwimmer, 66, and his son Scott Schwimmer, 21, spoke with NPR about Robert's wish to hasten his death under certain circumstances. Here — as in the family photo above — they're in Kauai, Hawaii, on the family's "last big trip" after Robert received a 6-month prognosis in October. Courtesy Scott Schwimmer hide caption

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Bioethicist Peter Singer argues that, under certain circumstances, people should have the right to die at a time of their choosing. Samuel La Hoz/Intelligence Squared U.S. hide caption

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Stefan Daniel is a 51-year-old German clinical psychologist with multiple sclerosis. He has decided that he will end his life, by taking a barbiturate while sitting in his own living room, when he can no longer see or speak. Esme Nicholson for NPR hide caption

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John Kelly and Dr. Marcia Angell were advocates on opposing sides of a Massachusetts measure to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Jesse Costa/Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

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