Saturday, April 14, 2018

No DC assisted suicide deaths in the first year after legalization. Doctors don't support assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In the first year of legal assisted suicide in Washington DC, there were no assisted suicide deaths and only two of 11,000 licensed physicians and only one hospital agreed to participate in assisted suicide.

The assisted suicide lobby accused DC officials of preventing assisted suicide. A Washington Post article reported that the DC Health Director rejected this accusation:
At a hearing before the D.C. Council on Monday, D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said she resented advocates who suggest she was trying to impede the law. She said the department notified all 11,000 licensed physicians that the law was in place, and suggested aid-in-dying advocates should have done more outreach to the medical community. 
“I’m not a gatekeeper to the patients. The program is launched,” Nesbitt said. “I don’t interfere in a patient-physician relationship.”
According to the Washington Post article doctors are not signing up to prescribe lethal drugs and they are not seeking more information:
There doesn’t seem to be much interest from doctors. 
No local practicing physician testified in favor of the measure, and several opposed it, during debate before the D.C. Council. 
“The physician community was not out there advocating for it, so I don’t think there should have been an assumption that there would have been a lot of physicians signing up,” said Pia Duryea, a spokeswoman for the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, which stayed neutral on the bill. “We haven’t had any doctors call us up and say, ‘I really want to sign up, and I think the process is too cumbersome.’ ”
I am concerned that the assisted suicide lobby will hire a death salesperson to push doctors to "sign-up" and to promote people dying by assisted suicide in DC.

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