Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Connecticut assisted suicide House Bill 5326 is likely dead.

By Alex Schadenberg
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - International Chair

The Record Journal news in Connecticut is reporting that the assisted suicide bill HB 5326 is unlikely to go to a vote this year. Yesterday the Connecticut General Assembly Public Health Committee held a public hearing on HB 5326.

On March 6, 2014, less than two weeks earlier, the New Hampshire legislature defeated assisted suicide bill HB 1325 by a vote of 219 to 66. Connecticut and New Hampshire are both in the northeastern US.

The Record Journal reported Rep. David Zoni, D-Southington, a health committee member stating:
“I don’t see a lot of strong support for it.” 
While Zoni received more than 1,000 emails on the issue, he felt the e-mails from bill opponents appeared less manufactured. Emails in support of the “right to die” had similar wording and identical subject lines, he said.
The Record Journal reported that Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford, who supports assisted suicide, included a question about assisted suicide in a survey sent to constituents Tuesday.
“I’m trying to get a read on the district,” she said. “Some people definitely love it, and some people are afraid of it.” 
Unless there’s a groundswell of support though, she agrees the bill will again probably not come to a vote.
Rep. Al Adinolfi, R-Che­shire, who spoke against the bill during Monday’s public hearing said that he was a certified hospice volunteer and had seen how some families are looking for ailing relatives to die. The Record Journal reported him as saying:
"Allowing suicide as an option could be misused." 
“A person could be convinced what the option is by a selfish family,” Adinolfi said. 
“Medication changes every day,” he said. “We could make a mistake and take a life when we shouldn’t.”
The Hartford Courant reported that the assisted suicide lobby group, Compassion & Choices, has spent out of state money to promote assisted suicide in Connecticut. The article stated:
The national advocacy group Compassion & Choices has enlisted the help of professional organizers, media strategists and lobbyists to marshal public support in Connecticut for the aid in dying movement. The group has spent $189,593 on lobbying, including $65,000 on paid media, over the past 14 months, according to a report filed with the Office of State Ethics.
Gov Daniel Malloy
On March 12, The New Haven Register reported that Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy is unlikely to support the assisted suicide bill. On March 14, The Connecticut Mirror reported Governor Malloy to have said: 
"I then become a little uneasy when it comes to saying that as a matter of state policy, that we're going to take proactive actions to end life."
A comprehensive poll on attitudes toward assisted suicide in Connecticut found that the majority of Connecticut residents do not support assisted suicide. The poll of 1000 Connecticut residents that was done March 6 - 9 found that: 55% believe a doctor should not prescribe or provide life-ending drugs, but instead should manage the illness or be allowed to remove a respirator or other medical interventions so nature can take its course.

More articles concerning Connecticut assisted suicide bill HB 5326
Connecticut disability rights group: Assisted Suicide - Nothing about us without us.
The majority of Connecticut residents do not support assisted suicide.
Connecticut Governor Malloy is unlikely to support assisted suicide bill.

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