Sunday, March 4, 2012

Announcement from Second Thoughts in Massachusetts.

Stop Assisted Suicide in MA We Need Real Choices, Not Medical Killing 

Attend the hearing at the State House next Tuesday, and oppose H.3884. Link to the poster.
What: Hearing of the Joint Judiciary Committee on H. 3884 - an act to allow "Death with Dignity" in MA.
When: Tuesday, March 6 at 1 p.m.
Where: State House, Room A-2
Why: This bill is dangerous for people with disabilities, elders and people with serious illness.
Contact: Second Thoughts and John Kelly at (617) 536-5140 or visit Facebook. More Info: Download the flyer. Please dress in BLUE. 
Second Thoughts is a group of Disability Rights Organizations and Activists who oppose this "Death with Dignity" ballot initiative. Here are some of the compelling reasons why this bill is dangerous.

Deadly Mix: Assisted suicide is a deadly mix with a profit-driven health care system.

Self-determination: Assisted suicide is unnecessary to have control because each person has the right to refuse lifesaving treatment, and to have adequate pain relief, including palliative sedation. Assisted suicide decreases self-determination by giving doctors and insurers the power not just to cure, but to kill.

Abuse: The proposed law is a recipe for elder abuse. An heir can be a witness and help sign someone up, and once a lethal drug is in the home, no one will know how the drug is administered. If the person struggled, who would know?

No Safeguards: A lack of safeguards and oversight in the proposed law puts people at risk of misdiagnosis, deprivation of treatment and economic pressure to choose suicide, while protecting doctors from liability.
If a doctor refuses lethal drugs, the patient or family simply can--and do--find another doctor ("doctor shopping").
"Terminal condition" and "death within six months" are often misdiagnosed, opening the dangers of assisted suicide to many who are not terminally ill.
 The law does not require that people are screened or treated for depression or other mental health conditions that cause suicidal feelings.
 The law does not include enforcement provisions, investigation authority, oversight or data verification. The only foolproof safeguard is for the prescribing doctors. The law holds doctors to only a "good faith" standard, which makes any safeguards unenforceable.

Discrimination: A law that singles out some people (such as old, ill and disabled people) for assisted suicide instead of suicide prevention is not in step with Massachusetts' progressive tradition as a leader against discrimination.

Visit for more information. (Note - the website is scheduled to go live this week.)

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