The "right to die" remains a source of controversy in this country, especially since the death of campaigner Tony Nicklinson in August.
Attention should also be paid to a third style of treatment, which forgoes the "frantic endo-of-life assault of desperate measures", in favour of something more calm and humane, says Bill Kelner in The New York Times.
He quotes Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, former chief executive of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient in the UK, where this protocol was designed. "It's not about hastening death. It's about recognizing that someone is dying, and giving them choices. "