Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Stop Massachusetts Assisted Suicide Bill

By William Gallerizzo

Sign the petition: Reject Massachusetts Assisted Suicide bill S.1208/H.1926 (Link).

There has been an amended assisted suicide bill introduced in Massachusetts. S.2745 / S.1208.

The Death With Dignity lobby blatantly refuses to accept or to discuss documented evidence from other states and countries showing how legalizing assisted suicide has jeopardized inherent rights of so many others, all in the name of Freedom of Choice. The data that they do present is either nonfactual or inaccurate; as the past and current laws condone inaccuracy and falsification of death certificates. Mathematically data under those conditions cannot be validated. Likewise, they have condoned and supported using social media and other means to slander opponents and silence the truth, in crude and similar fashion to the tactics used by deficient national leadership.

Isn’t this what America is essentially marching about in the streets right now: transparency in government and laws, that no one’s life needs to be jeopardized; that all lives matter without regard to racial difference, religious difference, disability, socio-economic level, or any other man-made political divide. The value of lives should not concern how much money someone has, their status, or how much influence they peddle. Truthfully, the fallacy counter to this fact has existed for some time; but the past three years have seen it to a greater degree during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My own research and that of others have shown at least 8 major issues that make this legislation abusive to the public interest of social justice. Others exist, but these are the most highly impacting. All of these contentions are documented from reliable sources, but DWD considers them insignificant or will not address.

1. The outcome of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide is to kill other human beings whose lives are not fit to live. The whole basis of eugenics, whether ancient or the present age, is that some people do not deserve to live for no other reason than their very existence.

2. Safeguards are to protect physicians, but offer no safety valves or control for the vulnerable. Even in Netherlands and Oregon where euthanasia has been legal for decades, those most adversely affected and abused are people of color, the disabled, the economically challenged, and the elderly.

3. Assisted suicide is incompatible with the physician’s role as healer. The physician is put in the position of being an executioner, a promoter of death, not a sustainer of health.

4. Advancements in medical technology, elder care, advanced medical care are deemed no longer as necessary. The State of Oregon, once the national leader in hospice and palliative care, now ranks as the 7th worst in the nation.

5. Assisted suicide laws create cultural pressure on doctors who in turn pressure patients, especially when a viable treatment is not locally available. Current laws in Canada prevent conscientious objection on the part of medical personnel and force them to give in to euthanasia and assisted suicide as a standard not an option.

6. Doctors are fallible human beings. Misdiagnosis and faulty analysis for any number of reasons can result in patient premature death. My own disabilities occurred from misdiagnosed injuries, and my own life was saved by a very conscientious and observant physician. Assisted suicide laws increase the probability of unintended mistakes significantly. The end result, more often than not, is premature and needless death.

7. The vocabulary that is often used by advocates of euthanasia uses altered meanings from its common forms. This adds to confusion among the public about the meaning of what these words mean. Although most people have no problem agreeing that they want a peaceful and tranquil death, most find it abhorrent that what they are agreeing to involves a doctor or someone else killing a patient. By definition, compassionate action does not involve acts of overt or covert violence. When patients are influenced, options are reduced. Hence, what they propose is not congruent with reality conditions surrounding end-of-life care. Therefore, what C&C/DWD promote are lies and inaccurate vocabulary which cloud reality from public view.

8. There are no drugs effective to do what advocates claim. Several independent studies in both United States and Great Britain examining all drugs and cocktails used for either Euthanasia and/or Capital Punishment have shown that all have significant failure rates ranging from about 24% to just under 75%. Failure can range from painfully long lingering for hours or even days, to convulsions and severe vomiting. The drugs usually promoted by DWD, secobarbital and pentobarbital, are deemed unsuitable for capital punishment due to excessive and painful failure. More so, it has been shown that dosages of drugs used in anesthesiology require enormously high dosages if used for euthanasia and have significantly higher failure rates above their usual norm in anesthesia. It has also been shown that the use of morphine as pain relief goes through a titration of dosage tolerance in the body, and although it may require increasing dosages to relieve pain, the pain relief is significant and the risk of death caused by the morphine is lower than other drugs. Thus current use of morphine for pain relief does exactly what it is supposed to do; it enables a more pain free and peaceful death from the disease, not an induced death, and little failure leading to prolonged agony.

Sign the petition: Reject Massachusetts Assisted Suicide bill S.1208/H.1926. (Link).

William Orazio Gallerizzo taught Sciences for over 35 years and holds advanced degrees in Education and Natural Sciences (University of Maryland, College Park, MD) and Bioethics (Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum, Rome, Italy). Specialized in educational multi-disciplinary integration and critical thinking processes, he has conducted interactive instructional research projects both in the United States and Italy. His primary research work in Bioethics is titled, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Trends in the United States.

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