Assisted Suicide Support

Support Group Speaker Promotes Assisted Suicide

When Washington State transformed the crime of assisted suicide into a “medical treatment,” few people imagined that they would be faced with assisted-suicide advocacy in some very unexpected places.

Letter to the Editor, Peninsula Daily News, (Port Angeles, WA) 2/10/10:

My husband has been in pulmonary rehab for three months and is just finishing the course. It was suggested by his therapist that he attend a support groups that meets once a month in Sequim.

So we went there on Jan. 23.

We thought we would be given some words about how to live better with breathing problems. Most of the people there were on oxygen.

The speaker was introduced and proceeded to tell us about how easy it is to end life with a pill. She was speaking about so-called death with dignity – assisted suicide. She said if we didn’t feel that we could do the things we wanted to, or were in pain, it was a good solution.

We thought it was terrible to talk like that to people who were looking for ways to take care of themselves or feel better.

Why then bother with rehab? She referred to it as “Death with Dignity,” as “compassionate care,” never calling it suicide.

I disagreed, said we have a friend who cared for her husband for four years till he died that morning. He’d had a stroke, had trouble talking and couldn’t walk. They loved each other. That was real compassionate care.

Ruth McNicholas
Sequim, WA

NOTE: The speaker was Dawna Zullo, a volunteer for the Washington chapter of the assisted-suicide advocacy group, Compassion & Choices (C & C). C & C of Washington’s newsletter describes Zullo as a person who “has the distinction of being the client support volunteer for the first three patients who used the Washington Death With Dignity Act (DWDA). She was at Linda Fleming’s side when Linda became the first person to use the DWDA.”

(Source: C & C Connection, Issue 11, Fall 2009, p. 6)

NOTE: Zullo provided support group attendees with materials from the assisted-suicide advocacy group, including contact information for obtaining help for assisted suicide and suggestions such as, “You do not need to tell your hospice caregivers or other medical providers about your decision. If you do talk about it, please do not reveal the identities of participating physicians and pharmacists.”

(Source: Compassion & Choices of Washington, “Overview of the Washington Death With Dignity Act.”)