Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide be legal?
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Joe Hunter, in a July 9, 2012 email to ProCon.org:
"While individual religious and moral views vary, both Ayn Rand and Mises recognized suicide as one of the most basic rights that not even a totalitarian state could take away from the individual. They are correct, and government efforts to impede that right are doomed to fail." July 9, 2012 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following during a Mar. 23, 2008 interview with Gary Nelson published in the Mail Tribune, "He Favors Long-Term Timber-Payments Solution," available at www.mailtribune.com:
"I am in favor of palliative medicine in circumstances where someone is terminally ill... I'm mindful of the legitimate interests of states to prevent a slide from palliative treatments into euthanasia. On the other hand, I think that the people of Oregon did a service for the country in recognizing that as the population gets older we've got to think about issues of end-of-life care..." Mar. 23, 2008 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following on May 3, 2007 during the Republican presidential candidate debate in Simi Valley, CA, hosted by MSNBC, available at www.msnbc.com:
"Should Congress have acted or let the [Terri Schiavo] family make the decision [to remove life support], the husband?
Romney: I think we should generally make the family make a decision of this nature.
Moderator: The husband should have decided?
Romney: Generally, we should make that decision. In the case here, the courts decided what they thought was the right thing to do. And then I think Jeb Bush and the Florida legislature did the right thing by saying, we've got a concern. They looked over the shoulder of the court. But I think the decision of Congress to get involved was a mistake." May 3, 2007 Mitt Romney
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following on Oct. 27, 1999, during his House floor speech against the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999 (H.R. 2260), available at www.gpo.gov:
"I am strongly pro-life. I think one of the most disastrous rulings of this century was Roe versus Wade. I do believe in the slippery slope theory. I believe that if people are careless and casual about life at the beginning of life, we will be careless and casual about life at the end. Abortion leads to euthanasia. I believe that.
I disagree with the Oregon law [Death With Dignity Act]. If I were in Oregon, I would vote against that law...
If we can come here in the Congress and decide that the Oregon law is bad, what says we cannot go to Texas and get rid of the Texas law that protects life and prohibits euthanasia...
As bad as the Oregon law is, this is not the way we should deal with the problem. This bill applies the same principle as Roe versus Wade...
I believe that nobody can be more pro-life than I am, nobody who could condemn the trends of what is happening in this country in the movement toward euthanasia and the chances that one day euthanasia will be determined by the national government because of economic conditions. But this bill does not deal with life and makes a difficult situation much worse." Oct. 27, 1999 Ron Paul
[Editor's note: In addition to the above "Con" statement, Ron Paul, on Dec. 22, 2011, signed the "Personhood Republican Presidential Candidate Pledge," available at www.personhoodusa.com, which contained the following language: "I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings."]