Friday, April 17, 2020

Stop Assisted Suicide by Telehealth

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Recently, I received an email from an assisted suicide lobby group explaining how assisted suicide can be done during the Covid-19 crisis. The text of the email was based on  interviews with several leading death lobby activists.

This email indicates that assisted suicide by tele-health/tele-medicine is being implemented in US states that have legalized assisted suicide.

On March 20, 2020 EPC reported that the assisted suicide lobby was using the Covid-19 crisis to promote approving assisted suicide by telehealth.

This is not a new idea. In 2019 the New Mexico assisted suicide bill included a telehealth provision. Also the recent bill to expand assisted suicide in Hawaii included a telehealth provision.

On March 26, 2020 EPC reported that a group of  death doctors stated that during the Covid-19 crisis "aid-in-dying" needed to be approved by telehealth. On that same day, an assisted suicide lobby group thanked Congressional leaders for expanding access to telehealth during the Coronavirus crisis.



I understand the need to expand telehealth services during the Covid-19 crisis but assisted suicide is not medical treatment.

Approving assisted suicide by telehealth means that a person with difficult health issues who feels like a burden on others, or is experiencing depression or existential distress, could be assessed, approved and prescribed a lethal drug cocktail for assisted suicide by telehealth without ever being examined by a physician.

Considering the occurances of medical misdiagnosis, is it reasonable to give physicians the right to prescribe a lethal drug cocktail without examining the patient first?

In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria Italy, died by assisted suicide at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic. His autopsy revealed that he had been a victim of a medical misdiagnosis.

It is unlikely that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) realized that the assisted suicide lobby would take advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to begin approvals of assisted suicide by telehealth.

I urge you to contact Alex M Azar II, the HHS Secretary at: Secretary@HHS.gov or call his office at: 202-690-7000

Tell Secretary Azar to Stop Assisted Suicide by Telehealth. Assisted suicide is not medical treatment. Regulations must not permit approvals of assisted suicide by telehealth.

*Sign the petition: Healthcare regulations must not permit assisted suicide approvals by telehealth (Link).

6 comments:

John said...

Your blog is a disgrace. You want people to suffer. Terrible human being. I wonder what will you do when you're in constant pain at your death bed. Hypocrite, disgusting human being.

Anonymous said...

Actually, compassion & choices admits that pain can be fully managed in the dying process. It is not about pain. It is about control and pride.

Unknown said...

Keep fighting the good fight, Alex Schadenberg.

Joanna said...

Thank you for your work. Death like so much of life is not and should not be in our hands. Being in pain does not diminish our human dignity nor make life less worthwhile. Our pain is not like that of animals. We can grow through it and also offer it for our good and the good of the world.

Thomas said...

I am so happy Mr. Schadenberg is losing this fight and more governments are legalizing assisted-dying.

It's my body and choice. I shouldn't have to suffer from a grevious and irremediable condition because a book of superstition said so. The "right to life" is utterly meaningless with a right to die.

Thomas said...

In whose hand is it in then, Joanna? God's?

"Being on pain does not make life less worthwhile."

I'd argue that it does Joanna. You see, I believe death is not the worst of fates. One shouldn't have to suffer from a condition that renders a quality of life to become essentially non-existent. A life where you spend every waking moment wishing for an end as soon as possible.

If you want to suffer needlessly to please whatever god you choose to believe in, you do you. But never deprive me of a choice for a dignified and humane death of my own choosing.

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