Stephen Mikochik wrote this letter that was published in The Washington Times yesterday. His letter concerns the language of the Massachusetts assisted suicide Initiative that will be on the Massachusetts ballot this November. The letter states:
The initiative petition requires that two persons witness the patient’s written request for a lethal prescription. One witness, however, can have a financial interest in the patient’s death. That person can be the only witness present when the lethal drug is taken. Thus, an interested heir could pressure the patient, and no one would know because no objective witness is required when the drug is taken. Also, the petition would require the death certificate fraudulently to list the patient’s underlying condition, rather than the lethal drug, as the cause of death.
Initiative Petition 11-12 uses terms like life-ending “medication” and death in a “humane and dignified manner.” But there is nothing medicinal about poison and nothing dignified about the prospects for the abuse the initiative petition would allow. It is a bad law that the voters of Massachusetts should reject decisively.
Stephen L. Mikochik
Temple Law School