Thursday, October 12, 2023

Assisted suicide by telehealth may continue until 2025.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition opposes the dangerous practice of assisted suicide by telehealth.

An October 10, a CNN news report by Kristen Rogers stated that:

The DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced May 9 that the temporary rules would be extended through November 11, while the DEA and HHS considered the public comments and any revisions to the proposals — buying more time for telehealth patients who might have otherwise experienced a disruption in care.

Now, after holding two days of public listening sessions on the rules in September, the DEA and HHS have further extended the flexibilities through December 31, 2024.
This means that the dangerous practise of approving assisted suicide by telehealth will continue in states that permit assisted suicide until December 31, 2024.

The CNN article stated that the American Medical Association was pleased with the decision to extend the practise of prescribing Schedule II medications or narcotics by telehealth. The reality is that this decision enables assisted suicide to be prescribed by telehealth and ignores the concerns around the opioid crisis.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began their consultation on the proposed rules for prescribing controlled substances via telehealth in February 2023.

The assisted suicide lobby has been promoting the approval of assisted suicide by telehealth. The assisted suicide lobby also wants to have the lethal assisted suicide drug cocktail delivered by courier.

On April 17, 2023, Kristen Senz reported for The Journalists Resource that the DEA had approved the guidelines and stated that they would go into effect on May 1, 2023.

The proposed DEA guidelines stated that prescribing Schedule II controlled substances would require an in-person visit. Patients being treated for opioid use disorder could be prescribed via telemedicine but they would be required to have an in-person visit within 30 days of receiving a prescription for buprenorphine (Suboxone, Zubsolv, and Sublocade) via telemedicine and to obtain refills.

But the story didn't end there. 

Based on a massive response by the assisted suicide lobby the DEA placed their guidelines on hold until November 11, 2023.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition opposes the dangerous practice of assisted suicide by telehealth and supported the DEA proposed guidelines that were approved in April, 2023.

The DEA guidelines were based on reducing the opioid crisis by making it more difficult for people to obtain Schedule II controlled substances for resale. 

Previous articles:

  • The US Drug Administration tightens regulations on Schedule II Controlled Substances (Link). 
  • Help EPC stop assisted suicide by Telehealth (Link).

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