Thursday, January 20, 2022

People with disabilities speak out against Delaware assisted suicide bill

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by DJ McAneny that was published by on Tuesday January 18 reports on a press conference organized by disability leaders concerning Delaware's assisted suicide bill HB 140

Terri Hancharick
McAneny quotes Terri Hancharick, the chairperson for the State Council for Persons with Disabilities who says that people with disabilities need options for living not dying:
"...Give them the option of support. Help them to live their best lives," ... "I'm just very surprised at the timing of this. Instead of institutionalizing death for the disability community, Delaware legislators should focus on ensuring that everyone has the care and resources that they need. We have to continue to advocate for reliable, competent care in the community. We have to include to advocate for full inclusion of people with disabilities."
McAneny quotes Daniese McMullin Powell from the ADAPT disability group who argues assisted suicide makes suicide too easy.:
"It just doesn't make any sense to have that law in place, because it's too easy. It leads to suicide contagion when such laws take the stigma off of having assistance, or even doing it yourself," ... "It makes it more common. And it makes other people that aren't even terminal have the idea that it's okay to go ahead with that, and that it's just a societal thing, and there's 'nothing wrong with it.'"
Stephanie Packer
McAneny reports that Stephanie Packer, from California, spoke about how her insurance company recommended lethal assisted suicide drugs for her terminal condition.
Stephanie Packer, a mother of four from California, said her terminal diagnosis led to her insurance recommending to her lethal drugs to perform assisted suicide would be much cheaper than life0saving treatments. While they eventually agreed to cover her treatment, she echoed McMullin Powell's concerns that governments shouldn't be setting such black-and-white legislation when that's not how businesses like health insurance work, and are instead focused on financial savings.
McAneny stated that Matt Valliere, Executive Director for the Patients Rights Action Fund stated that assisted suicide is a public policy that makes suicide a medical treatment for a subset of people, always, it's a subset of people with disabilities.

Delaware is being pressured by the assisted suicide lobby to legalize assisted suicide. The Delaware Assisted suicide bill will give doctors and nurses the right in law to prescribe a lethal suicide drug cocktail.

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