2017 Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Bills Proposed
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- 15 states rejected doctor-prescribed suicide bills since the beginning of the year
- Compassion & Choices drops appeal in Vermont case
- When patients’ death requests supersede physicians’ conscience rights
- Mayo Clinic study finds over 20% of patients are totally misdiagnosed
- News briefs from home & abroad
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Who will speak for you?
Imagine you are in an accident tomorrow and so seriously injured that you aren’t able to communicate about your health care wishes for several weeks. Who would make health care decisions for you during that time? Do you need an advance directive?
To obtain a durable power of attorney for health care for the state in which you are a resident, call the Patients Rights Council (800-958-5678 or 740-282-3810) between 8:30am and 4:30pm (eastern time).
Recent Major Developments
“Assisted suicide bill sent to House floor”
(Delaware State News — June 7, 2017)
The Medical Society of Delaware opposes the bill, and one member of the group said Wednesday he fears physician-aided suicide could lead to less focus on treatment and cures.
More on Delaware
“South Dakota Backers Push Physician-Assisted Dying Measure”
(US News and World Report — May 5, 2017)
Backers of the plan would have to submit nearly 14,000 valid signatures to the secretary of state by November 2017 to get on the ballot in 2018. Former Rep. Fred Deutsch who opposes the measure said he expects it to qualify for the ballot.
More on South Dakota
Canadian report indicates that the vast majority of deaths under the country’s “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAID) law are from euthanasia, not assisted suicide.
(April 26, 2017)
Of 507 reported deaths, 504 were clinician-administered (euthanasia) [from lethal injection]. Only 3 reported deaths were self-administered (assisted suicide).
[Page 3, Table 2]
More on Canada
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“Disability Rights Toolkit for Advocacy Against Legalization of Assisted Suicide”
(Not Dead Yet — posted June 23 2017)
The perspective of the disability rights organizations and advocates that oppose legalization of assisted suicide are an essential part of the public debate, in keeping with the fundamental principle, “Nothing About Us Without Us!”
More on Disability Perspective
“Abusing assisted suicide laws”
(Washington Times — June 7, 2017)
With the passage of assisted-suicide laws, there are new reports that health insurance companies are refusing to cover lifesaving medical care and are offering to pay patients to kill themselves instead…..Allowing insurance company bureaucrats to overrule how a doctor will treat a patient at any point is absurd, but in an age when some states are legalizing assisted suicide, it can be downright deadly.
More on Cost Containment
“Assisted Suicide: Rhetoric v. Reality”
(Patients Rights Council)
Proponents of doctor-prescribed suicide point to Oregon to show that there have been no problems or abuses in the years since its law went into effect. Contrasting this rhetoric with the reality is crucial.
More on Oregon
“NDY Urges AMA to Affirm Longstanding Opposition to Legalizing Assisted Suicide”
(Not Dead Yet — February 15, 2017)
One of the most frequently repeated claims by proponents of assisted suicide laws is that there is “no evidence or data” to support any claim that these laws are subject to abuse…” These claims are demonstrably false.
More on Disability Perspective
More on Oregon
“‘ I know they are going to die.’ This foster father takes in only terminally ill children”
(Los Angeles Times — February 8, 2017)
Bzeek, a quiet, devout Libyan-born Muslim who lives in Azusa, just wants her to know she’s not alone in this life….”The key is, you have to love them like your own,” Bzeek said recently. “I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best and leave the rest to God.”
More on Children and Teens
“Do patients pay when they leave against medical advice?”
Patients who are leaving the hospital against medical advice are often told by hospital staff that doing so will leave them liable for the entire bill because insurance will not pay if they leave against medical advice.
As described in a study, that is a myth, a medical urban legend, and one which is widespread.
Have you heard about VSED?
It stands for voluntarily stopping eating and drinking. VSED is being promoted by assisted-suicide activists who are also working to force health care providers to participate in it. Important Questions & Answers about VSED
From the bookshelf…
Twenty-six years ago, Ann Humphry, the co-founder of the Hemlock Society (now called Compassion and Choices) committed suicide. Her death made headlines worldwide.
Prior to her death, Ann contacted Rita Marker, a staunch euthanasia opponent. Over time, the two became close friends, and Ann asked Rita to make public secrets about the right-to-die movement — secrets that had weighed heavily on Ann.
Two years after Ann’s tragic death, the book, Deadly Compassion: The Death of Ann Humphry and the Truth About Euthanasia was published. It recounts Ann’s personal story, the founding of the Hemlock Society, and activities of euthanasia and doctor-prescribed suicide advocates. Thousands of copies of the book were sold in the United States, England, Canada and Australia. (Read excerpts from reviews of the book.)
Now, for the first time, you can read Deadly Compassion in its entirety on line in PDF format.