Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Connecticut assisted suicide bill (SB 88) requires falsification of the death certificate.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Connecticut has debated and defeated assisted suicide bills on a yearly basis since 2013. In 2021, a key reason for the defeat of Connecticut's assisted suicide bill HB 6425 was the requirement that the death certificate must be falsified.

Connecticut's 2022 assisted suicide bill (SB 88) was changed based on the requirement to falsify the death certificate but SB 88 now sereptitiously requires that the death certificate be falsified. As stated in the testimony by disability rights leader Stephen Mendolsohn from Second Thoughts Connecticut on SB 88:
Moreover, the “accordance” language in Section 14 (c) and (d) of SB 88 also mandates falsification of death certificates. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, death certificates in Connecticut are required to list the manner of death as either “homicide,” “suicide,” “accidental,” “natural,” “therapeutic complication,” or “undetermined.” The “accordance” language rules out homicide and suicide as a matter of law, and “accidental,” “therapeutic complication,” and “undetermined” are clearly ruled out as the manner of death is both intentional and of known cause. Thus as in other states, the death will be deemed “natural,” even if it was unnaturally caused by an intentional overdose of lethal drugs. This would interfere with a potential murder prosecution no less than the removed Section 9 (6) (b) from previous bills.
In an interview with the Fairfield Citizen by Julia Bergman, Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, the co-chair of Connecticut's General Assembly Judiciary Committee, explained why the committee was “uncomfortable” with advancing assisted suicide Bill HB 6425 in 2021. Stafstrom stated that the bill seemed to have unintended legal consequences. Stafstrom continued:
The state’s division of criminal justice said in testimony that the bill “effectively mandates the falsification of death certificates under certain circumstances,” by allowing the signer of a death certificate to list the qualified patient’s underlying terminal illness as the cause of death as opposed to the medication used to end his or her life.

That would pose a problem for the criminal justice system, the division said, when faced with cases involving a potential murder prosecution if the cause of death is not accurately reported on a death certificate.

Under the bill, a person would be guilty of murder if he or she willfully altered or forged a request for aid in dying or coerced someone to complete such a request.

But those actions don’t cause death, rather they potentially offer evidence of intent to kill, thus removing the “causation requirement” that is essential to any murder charge, the criminal justice division said, recommending that section be deleted.

“Given the legal uncertainty and the folks who just outright object to the concept all together, the votes were clearly not there to move the bill out of committee,” Stafstrom said.
Mendolsohn clearly explains why Connecticut's assisted suicide bill SB 88 continues to require falsification of the death certificate. The assisted suicide lobby has made the requirement less explicit.

1 comment:

Corrina Conlan said...

Chilliwack hospital lied on my mother's death certificate. For one thing ..I met with the head of Chilliwack hospital who admitted euthanizing my mother but on the death certificate it says died of natural causes! A complete lie! She had brain surgery to extend her life. But she got unfortunately transferred to Chilliwack hospital to her demise. They think cancer is a license to kill after Trudeau gave the ok for anyone with a terminal illness to be euthanized without consent. We are Christian and the punk doctor Ryan Gant asked me if I owned a home and what my mom did for an Income! Discusting! Attacking the vulnerable. We prayed my mother through her brain surgery and the Lord answered and we were giving her alternative medicine.