Both supporters and opponents of “death with dignity” were alike spurred by the case of an American woman who committed physician-assisted suicide this weekend, believing the case may ignite a shift in Japan’s long-standing tendency to shun the topic as a taboo.

Each group remains opposed to the other, but they both expressed belief Tuesday that the woman’s action and her self-confessed wobble at the eleventh hour strengthens their cases both for withholding medical treatment and for banning such action by law.

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