Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Assisted suicide in America. Predictions for 2021.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

As 2021 begins, it is important to prepare for what may happen.

We predict that assisted suicide bills will be introduced in at least 20 states and some states that legalized assisted suicide will debate bills to expand their assisted suicide laws, in 2021.

In 2020, many states debated assisted suicide bills but most of those bills died on the order paper. Some of the assisted suicide bills died on the order paper because the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shut down state legislatures.

We are very concerned about possible assisted suicide bills in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico and New York, among others.

Links to key articles for fighting assisted suicide:
States that have legalized assisted suicide will likely debate bills to expand those laws.

In January 2019 I commented on an article by the CEO of Compassion & Choices, (formerly known as the Hemlock society) who stated that assisted suicide laws need fewer regulations.

In Oregon, the number of assisted suicide deaths increased to 188 reported deaths in 2019. In 2019 Oregon passed Bill SB 0579 which came into effect on January 1, 2020, which essentially eliminated the 15 day waiting period. There were other Oregon assisted suicide expansion bills debated in 2019, that may return in 2021.

In Washington state the legislature debated Bill 2419 states a study bill to examine the elimination of "safeguards" in assisted suicide laws. Section f of the bill questioned the need to self-administer lethal drugs. If lethal drugs are not self-administered then someone else must administer, thus legalizing euthanasia.

The Hawaii 2019 assisted suicide report indicated that 15 people reportedly died by assisted suicide in 2019. The report also included preliminary 2020 data indicating that in the first few months of 2020, 13 people reportedly died by assisted suicide.

In the final paragraph of the assisted suicide report the Hawaii Department of Health recommends the following changes to the assisted suicide law:
Waiver of any waiting periods if the attending provider and consulting provider agree that patient death is likely prior to the end of the waiting periods.

Given access to health care providers is limited, the DOH recommends authorizing advance practice registered nurses to serve as attending providers for patients seeking medical aid in dying.
The Hawaii Department of Health recommendations follow the direction of the assisted suicide lobby.

For those who are organizing to stop assisted suicide in their State EPC suggests the following: 
Defeating assisted suicide bills requires a complete analysis of the bill, outlining the problems with the bill. All of these bills are designed to expand over time.

Emphasize what assisted suicide is and how it is done and discuss how the assisted suicide lobby is conducting unethical lethal drug experiments. They speak about compassion and choices and yet they have caused some horrific deaths.

Work together. All perspectives are important, but stay focused on your goal, that being, protecting people from assisted suicide.

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