Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Nancy Elliott: People who qualify for Assisted Suicide are not necessarily dying.

The following testimony was submitted by Nancy Elliott Chair, EPC-USA to each Rhode Island committee member and the committee clerk on behalf of EPC USA.

Dear Health, Welfare and Human Services Committee Member,

Nancy Elliott
Please reject H7297. Proponents say that this is about autonomy and choice. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are no safeguards that ensure that the choice is yours and not someone else's. As a matter of fact all the “so called” safeguards can be gone around. Proponents claim there is no “slippery slope” yet we see as soon as something is passed they go in to expand their death policies. Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, just passed legislation that will allow for the starvation and dehydration of incompetent people. Belgium’s law has expanded to euthanize children, those who are incompetent and people who are not dying at all. And Canada who recently passed it is has already expanded it to prisoners.

I would like to point out a few of the people who will be hurt. Three groups that are the target for Assisted Suicide are the sick, the elderly and the disabled. While there are many other problems with this kind of law, I want to focus in on them.

It is said this is only for the sick and dying. One of the biggest problems is people who qualify for Assisted Suicide are not necessarily dying. Think of a 21-year-old otherwise healthy insulin dependent diabetic. He qualifies if he rejects his insulin. This would be the same for many other people with serious conditions, who take prescription medications. What about all the curable cancers? They qualify. What about incorrect medical diagnosis? With Assisted Suicide on the table these mistakes can be deadly.

I was at an oral submission on Assisted Suicide in Massachusetts a few years back when a gentleman named John Norton gave evidence, that as a young man he was diagnosed with ALS. He stated that had Assisted Suicide been legal at that time he would have used it. A few years in, the disease’s progression just stopped. Now in his late 70’s he stated he has had a great life with children and a grandchild. With Assisted Suicide on the table he would have lost all of that.

Steering is a big deal with all three of the groups that I mentioned. At that same Massachusetts proceeding, a doctor stated that Assisted Suicide laws were something he was in favor of. He continued with his points and ended by saying that He felt it was the responsibility for a good doctor “to guide people to make the right choice”. I do not think he intended to say that, but is there any doubt that this pro suicide doctor would try to persuade his patients to follow his wishes concerning their Assisted Suicide.

These laws are abusive in their very nature. To suggest to someone that they should kill themselves is abuse. My husband was terminally ill and I went to a lot of doctor appointments with him. If medical personnel were to suggest Assisted Suicide to him, he would have been devastated. While he never would have done that, it would be like saying to him, “You are worthless and should die. That is abuse! The proponents say that would never happen, but that did happen to an Oregon woman named Kathryn Judson. She had gone to a doctor’s appointment with her seriously ill husband and exhaustedly sunk into a chair where she overheard the doctor pitching Assisted Suicide to her husband with the clincher, “Think of your wife.” They left and never came back. The husband went on to live another five years.

Next seniors are at risk and very easily fall victim to coercion as the process is very open to that. In most states, heirs can be there for the request and even speak. Anyone can pick up the lethal dose. Once in the house all oversight is gone, there is no witness required at the death. Even if they struggled who would know. If that is not enough, the death certificate is falsified to reflect a natural death. All the information is sealed and unavailable to the public. Even if someone suspected foul play, the death certificate says no crime here. Taking advantage of seniors is epidemic in the States. Look at the case of Thomas Middleton. He made Tami Sawyer his trustee and moved into her home. Within a month he was dead by Oregon’s Assisted Suicide law. Two day after his death Ms. Sawyer listed his house and sold it and deposited the money into three companies she owned with her husband. We will never know if or how much coercion or foul play took place in this case.

Finally those with a disability are at risk. Most people that “qualify” for Assisted Suicide at that point in their life have a disability. Many with long term disabilities have been labeled terminal all their lives. Without meds, treatments, and assistance they would not survive. This is about disability. If you have a disability you are encouraged to give up, commit suicide. If, on the other hand, you are young and healthy, you are given suicide counseling. This is discrimination against people with disabilities. Why should they trust that they will not be coerced into Assisted Suicide, when they are already discouraged to seek treatments and are not treated fairly? When you think about it this is a law that is written just for them. It is a “special” carve out, for the sick, elderly and disabled.

In closing, I just want to add that Assisted Suicide has been rejected in over 100 legislative, ballot initiative and judicial attempts in the USA, including my state New Hampshire. The more it is studied the more uncomfortable people become with it.

Nancy Elliott 

Former three term NH State Representative 
Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - USA


Pat said...

My husband would have "qualified". As things turned out, doctors did their level best to kill him anyway, calling it good care. It is considered "standard of care" so we had no recourse. And they DID ultimately kill him, because what they did to him at the very beginning was ultimately lethal. He had every hope of recovering fully. I had two precious years with him after that, and it wasn't enough for me.

"Think of your wife"??? If that "doctor" (who repudiated his oath) were truly thinking of the wife, he would never, ever, ever suggest killing her husband! It is a PRIVILEGE to care for a disabled husband. He took care of me for half a century. It's my turn! We enjoyed each other's company. He had time to be instructed in the Christian faith, and be fully at peace with his eternal destiny.

Euthanasia is so insidious! It cuts short the life God granted to people who have yet to be reconciled to Him, and places them in a position in life where they will listen. I have seen the same problem with numerous courses of treatment. Cancer treatments cause so much suffering they drug the victims to the point where they are totally unaware and cannot even think! I saw this in hospice. Hospice is obviously not to blame. But modern medicine has gone absolutely insane prescribing deadly poisons in small doses in the name of preventing serious illness, and that's the root of all this. It is all about greed. Pharmaceutical companies profit by keeping people sick! People who regain their health don't "need" pharmaceutical poisons. Pharmaceutical companies don't make money off restoring people to health, or from alternative methods. So they make sure insurance companies won't pay for any of that.

If we want to stop the killing, we must first stop the source, and that is the greedy pharmaceutical companies, and the way they defraud and bribe doctors and the public. Since government protects these greedy companies, we must first separate medicine and state. No more legislators who practice medicine without a license! In the United States, we need a constitutional amendment separating medicine and state. Put abortion and euthanasia into the homicide laws, and get government out of the rest of it. Stop obeying doctors like they are god. And don't fall for the hype about how all these little poisons will make your life better. Just say No.

Unknown said...

I am just horrified with these new laws some areas are passing. Where, oh where is the respect given to God's gift of life?

unhappygrammy said...

In New Hampshire and many other States, assisted suicide is ILLEGAL, as it should be. But in New Hampshire I know for a fact, ILLEGAL assisted suicide/Illegal Euthanasia are being practiced by Hospice/Palliative Care. People, such as my husband was admitted to the Hospital for treatment. He refused Hospice and stated very clearly that he wanted treatment, not death. He was Unknowingly forced onto Palliative care, overdosed with morphine and never treated for an infection that turned into SEPSIS and was again denied treatment. Even though Assisted suicide and Euthanasia are illegal, our loved ones are still being murdered and the death mongers and the Hospitals they work for are NOT being held accountable. The Hospital lies to Livanta the quality control organization and Livanta lies to DHHS. Even witness testimony means nothing. Whose paying these people to Murder our Loved ones?

Pat said...

Sadly, some hospices have turned away from their mission. Their mission is to make patients comfortable, not shorten their lives. There is an organization that is working to combat this problem, and they also have information on which hospices can be trusted, as far as I know. Look up Ron Panzer and Hospice Patients Alliance. They are totally pro-life. Also, the family of Terri Schiavo has set up an organization that will help families of people who are being forced into euthanasia. I have also seen problems with Livanta, because they will overlook bad medical practice as long as everybody is doing it. It is called "standard of care" and it is the most insidious way to keep doctors from being responsible to patients and their families I have ever seen. I would love to be able to talk to the President for just one hour to explain the problems. Something seriously needs to be done.

Emilyette said...

I knew as soon as they wanted to make it legal that it would cause all kinds of problems. I could see them killing off the ones they felt like. So many people thought it would be a good idea for the people in such pain that they wanted to die, but 'they' never do things for the good of the people..........just for themselves. .............peggy