Thursday, January 16, 2020

Disability rights leaders praise Massachusetts court decision that there is no right to assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


*Massachusetts Court explains why assisted suicide should be prohibited (Link).

John Kelly, Second Thoughts
Disability rights leaders praised the Massachusetts court decision that there is no right to assisted suicide. The assisted suicide lobby doctors have decided to appeal the decision. 

The Second Thoughts Massachusetts media release stated:
Second Thoughts Massachusetts praises the decision by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Mary K. Ames rejecting a right to physician-assisted suicide in the state. She ruled that any Massachusetts doctor who prescribes a lethal dosage of drugs could be subject to prosecution for involuntary manslaughter. 
Second Thoughts director John B. Kelly said, “we are gratified that the court reaffirmed the law against assisted suicide, and referred the matter to the legislature where lawmaking belongs. Disability rights advocates will continue to press the legislature that assisted suicide is just too dangerous.” 
Judge Ames wrote that at the point of a patient ingesting the lethal drugs, they would be vulnerable to improper persuasion. “In such a situation, there is a greater risk that temporary anger, depression, a misunderstanding of one’s prognosis, ignorance of alternatives, financial considerations, strain on family members or significant others, or improper persuasion may impact the decision.” 
Ruthie Poole is president of the board of MPOWER, a group of people with lived experience of mental health diagnosis, trauma, and addiction. Poole said, “Personally, as someone who has been suicidal in the past, I can relate to the desire for ‘a painless and easy way out.’ However, depression is treatable and reversible. Suicide is not. The current bill in the legislature pretends otherwise.”
The Cape Cod Times reported that the assisted suicide doctors, who brought the case to the Massachusetts court, are appealing the decision. The report stated:
“We’re disappointed that the court didn’t rule in our favor,” Kligler said. “We’re hoping that the appellate court or Supreme Judicial Court will.”
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) emphasized that the Massachusetts court decision is not the only court decision stating that there is no right to assisted suicide. EPC hopes that this decision will prevent the legalization of assisted suicide in Massachusetts.

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