Sunday, February 14, 2021

I was frustrated with the lies told during the New Mexico assisted suicide HB 47 legislative hearings.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

New Mexico legislature
Yesterday was the second time that I presented (by zoom) before a New Mexico legislative committee hearing concerning HB 47 the bill to legalize assisted suicide.

My concern with the legislative committee hearing was not the one minute for every regular witness. Not much can be said in one minute.

My frustration related to the lies told by the "expert" witnesses, who had more time, concerning the bill.

1. The "expert" witnesses claimed that HB 47 is one of the tightest assisted suicide bills anywhere.

Reality: HB 47 is the widest assisted suicide bill being considered in America.
All current assisted suicide laws require physicians to approve and prescribe lethal drugs. HB 47 allows non-physicians defined as "health care providers" which includes physicians, or licensed physician assistants, or osteopathic physicians, or nurses registered in advanced practice to approve or prescribe lethal drugs.

All current assisted suicide laws require a psychologist or psychiatrist to counsel a person, when a "health care provider" questions the ability of a person to consent. HB 47 defines counselors as: state-licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, master social worker, psychiatric nurse practitioner or professional clinical mental health counselor.

Unlike existing assisted suicide legislation, HB 47 does not require a 15 day waiting period but only requires a 48 hour waiting period that can be waived if the health care provider believes that the person may be imminently dying. Therefore HB 47 technically allows a same day death. A person could request assisted suicide on a "bad day" and die the same day. Studies prove that the “will to live” fluctuates.

HB 47 Section 3 (G) waives the requirement that a person's condition be confirmed by a second health care provider if the person requesting assisted suicide is enrolled in a hospice program. This is the only assisted suicide bill that waives the requirement that a second health care provider assess the requester.
2. They claimed that HB 47 has iron clad conscience protections for health care providers.

Reality: HB 47 tramples on conscience rights.
HB 47 states that health care providers who are unwilling to carry out a request for assisted suicide shall inform the individual and refer the individual to a health care provider who is able and willing to carry out the individual's request or to another individual or entity to assist the requesting individual in seeking medical aid in dying.

Therefore a conscientious objector must participate in the act by referring the patient for assisted suicide to a health care provider who is willing to prescribe lethal drugs.
Remember, in 2019 New Mexico State Rep Deborah Armstrong, sponsored assisted suicide bill, HB 90, which was the most extreme assisted suicide bill that I had seen in America. Among other concerns, HB 90 allowed assisted suicide for psychiatric conditions, to be done to someone with an undefined "terminal prognosis," to be done by nurses and physician assistants, and it even allowed it to be approved via telemedicine.

Deborah Armstrong wants to legalize assisted suicide to make it an option for her daughter who is battling cancer. I understand their fear of a bad death. But giving doctors the right in law to be involved with killing people is a dangerous public policy.  

Who do they think they are fooling. We are all capable of reading HB 47 and recognizing the lies, lies and more lies from the assisted suicide lobby "experts."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Again, the Euthanasia lobby seems to be able to lock up the time for testimony as if no one is entitled to the truth, only to the personal entitlement of those desiring PAS/E. The limits are a real and blatant indicator that such laws are critically flawed and their advocates actually realize the amorality of such legislation, and a scared of the truth. If data and testimony are to be gathered in an unbiased fashion then all parties should be given equal time to present, especially if those parties have the expertise from having studied the law and its process of implementation as well as ramifications. Otherwise, ratification is illegitimate, or in the least form truly not the will of an educated public. Most people do not realize that the process legalized is the right of a patient to be killed. There are already numerous methods for those who feel the need to end their own lives to do so. The "cleanliness" that is promised by such legislation is not lives up to by technology or pharmacology. What is never discussed is the PTSD that will eventually envelop families when the realization sinks in that what they did led to the death of a loved one. It is worse than thinking that "maybe something else could have been done." In the case of PAS/E the despair becomes more of the fact that one cannot go back and maybe care better for the deceased, similar to having defined an act of violence as an act of compassion, which are incompatible. A huge fallacy exists over equating PAS/E with increased dosage of morphine. Morphine in titration actually does not kill the patient as the tolerance builds. But it does allow the transition of the disease to progress normally, which in the case of terminal illness is the inevitable death. But still in the process, the family has the opportunity to care for the patient and properly be a part of a normal transition, rather than inducing death directly.
People who lie are always fearful of the truth. No one seems to call out the panel or committee members, but then again the time is skewed away from the truth. A huge, huge issue, but it almost takes someone who is willing to give up his or her own time to call out. I once did that at a town meeting where the board was trying to railroad the entry of a national chain that would provide 100 new jobs at minimum page, but displace over 500 jobs at livable wages. As I watched the engineering report promoted by the board and the national corporation, I saw serious presentation flaws that were meant to influence public opinion. When I got up to testify, I started by saying that what I was going to say had already been said, but that having worked as an engineer, it was clear to me that the way that the engineering report was graphically presented was not contiguous with on-site conditions. I also went so far as to say that anyone who botched a report in that way should have his license revoked of been fired for faulty work. The place went into an uproar, but the proposal was rejected, and our community retained its stability, and further proposals for such have not happened again. That situation was similar in that the national chain was given two hours to present, and those opposed limited to 90 seconds maximum. There is always a bad reason to limit testimony, and usually it is because advocacy is trying to cover their tracks.

Interestingly, watching TV the other evening, I saw advertisements for health care for cars, health care for dogs and cats, health care for houses. If people have that much money to spend on such things, why is spending on proper end of life care for parents, children, spouses, and other loved ones such a difficult endeavor. Society reaches untold lows when dogs, cats, cars, and houses are treated better than people, and society justifies it even when it is clearly wrong. Is this what people are about?

Deacon Bill Gallerizzo