Friday, January 10, 2020

Indiana assisted suicide bill may permit euthanasia (homicide).

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Indiana House Bill 1020 is sponsored by State Rep Matt Pierce (D) and was introduced on January 7.

House Bill 1020 claims to legalize assisted suicide, but the bill could be interpreted wide enough to permit euthanasia (homicide).

For instance, Section 3. (a) (5) of the bill states that:

has voluntarily expressed to the attending physician a wish to receive medical aid in dying; may make a written request in accordance with this chapter for medication that the patient may self-administer to end the patient's life.

The assisted suicide request form, in the bill, that is designed to be signed and witnessed states:
I request that my attending physician prescribe medication that I may self-administer to end my life in a humane and dignified manner and that the attending physician contact a pharmacist to fill the prescription.
You will be told that may self-administer means that the person may change their mind. Using the term, may self-administer, can be interpreted to mean that the legislation allows someone else to administer the lethal drug cocktail.

It is important to note that one of the witnesses can be an heir. 

The bill requires the physician state on the death certificate that the cause of death is the person's medical condition and not assisted suicide.

The bill also uses a self-reporting system that enables assisted suicide doctors to cover-up questionable deaths.


The bill requires, the attending physician to approve and prescribe the lethal drug cocktail and then report the death after the person dies by assisted suicide. Once a person is dead, who will ever know if something illegal occurred?

The legislation provides a reporting system that allows abuse of the law. No third party is required to approve or report the death, and no one is required to witness the death, to ensure compliance with the law.

Just to ensure that the assisted suicide physician is protected under the law, the legislation only requires that the physician was in "good faith". It is absurd that only a "good faith" compliance is required for a physician to prescribe a lethal drug cocktail.

House Bill 1020 does recognize that these deaths may take a long time. It states that the patient must expect that the death will take 3 hours, but it might take longer.

Recent experimental lethal drug cocktails have resulted in painful drawn out deaths. People have reported that the drug cocktails have burned the persons mouth and throat causing them to scream in pain. The length of the death is usually a few hours, but some of the deaths have taken 30 hours.

Death with dignity? I think not.


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