Monday, November 22, 2021

The US assisted suicide lobby plans for expanding assisted suicide laws.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

For the past several years I have been writing about the assisted suicide lobby plans to expand assisted suicide in America. 

The US assisted suicide lobby is expanding assisted suicide laws by: eliminating waiting periods, eliminating the 6 month terminal prognosis, allowing nurses and other medical providers to approve and participate in assisted suicide, eliminating residency requirements, and expanding assisted suicide laws to allow euthanasia (death by lethal injection rather than lethal prescription).

Recently, a long time assisted suicide lobby leader expressed these changes as Medical Aid in Dying 3.0. He described the original Oregon and Washington State assisted suicide laws as Medical Aid in Dying 1.0. He then refers to the recent expansions of assisted suicide laws as Medical Aid in Dying 2.0. He then describes the recent court cases to further expand assisted suicide to euthanasia and then nationally as Medical Aid in Dying 3.0.

Medical Aid in Dying 2.0?

The first set of assisted suicide expansions included eliminating the 15-day waiting period and expanding who can prescribe and carry-out an assisted suicide death.

In July 2019 Oregon Governor Kate Brown expanded the assisted suicide law by signing Bill SB 0579 into law. This bill, essentially, eliminates the 15 day waiting period to die by assisted suicide, a safeguard that was mean't to assure that a person has an opportunity to change their mind.

Proponents of the bill argued that the bill only applies to people with less than 15 days to live, and yet, it is difficult to know when someone has less than 15 days to live.

This year, New Mexico passed assisted suicide Bill HB 47 further codifying the assisted suicide lobby's expansion plans. HB 47 did not require a 15 day waiting period but only required a 48 hour waiting period that can be waived if the health care provider believes that the person may be imminently dying. Therefore HB 47 technically allows a same day death.

New Mexico also expanded who could prescribe and participate in assisted suicide. HB 47 allowed non-physicians defined as "health care providers" to approve and prescribe lethal drugs. "Health care providers" includes physicians, licensed physician assistants, osteopathic physicians, or nurses registered in advanced practice. The assisted suicide lobby is expanding who can prescribe and participate since very few physicians are willing to assist a suicide.

Recently California passed assisted suicide expansion Bill SB 380, which among other things, allowed the waiting period to be waived when a person is nearing death.

Medical Aid in Dying 3.0?

In August I reported that the assisted death lobby is supporting a court case to expand assisted suicide to euthanasia in California. The case argues that some people with disabilities are unable to self-administer the lethal assisted suicide drugs. Therefore, based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the court is being asked to permit euthanasia (doctor administered death) in these cases.

In September a California judge rejected a preliminary injunction to permit the plaintiffs in the case to die by euthanasia before the actual trial is heard. The court case continues but the plaintiffs cannot die by lethal injection before the court decision is final.

Permitting euthanasia is not an extension of the state assisted suicide law but rather it would require the court to legislate a new law, that being legalizing euthanasia, which is a form of homicide. 

The assisted suicide lobby is trying to legalize euthanasia via the court because they recognize that elected officials are not willing to legalize euthanasia by creating an exception to homicide in the law.

Since the inception of the first US assisted suicide law in the state of Oregon, the assisted suicide lobby has been trying to extend assisted suicide to all 50 US states. 

Last year I wrote about the attempt by the assisted suicide lobby to use Covid 19 guidelines to permit assisted suicide by telehealth (Link to the article). Assisted suicide by telehealth may extend approvals for assisted suicide to all 50 US states.

In late October, an assisted suicide lobby group, and Dr Nicholas Gideones, a doctor who prescribes assisted suicide drug cocktails, launched a court case to challenge the Oregon assisted suicide law residency requirement. The lawsuit has been filed in the federal court, claims that the residency requirement is unconstitutional.

If the assisted suicide lobby and Dr Gideones win their legal challenge to the Oregon state residency requirement then the Oregon assisted suicide law would apply to every American. This court case directly affects every state that protects people from assisted suicide.

I predict that the assisted suicide lobby will launch a few more court cases within the next year with the hope of further expanding assisted suicide in the US. One case might be to challenge the 6 month prognosis requirement while another might attempt to have assisted suicide defined as medical treatment.

This article only creates awareness. What is needed is a greater effort to expose and stop the expansion of assisted suicide in America.

1 comment:

Daniel Largy said...

The euthansia lobbyist are creating a very similiar environment of making this form acceptable
by the majority of Canadians. Eugenics in the form of getting ride of those people that deem to be disposable because they say the person,s life is not worth living. We just recently Remembrance Day on November 11/21; did all those military people that were injured of died, during the second world, die in vain? The horrors of Nazis Germany are happening in Canada today.
Daniel Largy