Friday, January 12, 2024

The assisted suicide lobby pass "restrictive" assisted suicide bills and expand them later.

At least 18 states will debate assisted suicide bills in 2024
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On January 8, I published an article titled: Assisted suicide bills must be defeated in at least 10 US states. Now the assisted suicide lobby are stating that they are sponsoring assisted suicide bills in at least 16 states.

The current states with a new bill are: Florida, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The states with an existing bill carried over from last year are: Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

It is important to state that we have been successful. No new state has legalized assisted suicide in the past two years but the assisted suicide lobby remains relentless.

There are also bills to expand assisted suicide laws in at least two states where it is legal, such as Washington State and New Jersey.

One of the key strategies of the assisted suicide lobby is to present an "restrictive" assisted suicide bill for the purpose of getting it passed and once it is passed they introduce bills in subsequent years to expand the assisted suicide legislation.

This is not a new strategy. What has changed is that the assisted suicide lobby is publicly admitting their "bait and switch" tactic. 

Rep Josh Elliott
For instance Josh Elliott, a three term member of the Connecticut House, and a sponsor of previous assisted suicide bills was interviewed by Paul Bass for the New Haven Independent on January 4, 2024. Bass reported:

Elliott has been sponsoring bills for years to allow terminally ill people to take their lives (aka ​“aid in dying”). The bill finally passed the legislature’s Public Health committee; it got stuck in Judiciary.

The version he plans to resubmit this year has been narrowed to cover terminally ill people with prognoses of less than six months to live, with sign-offs from two doctors and a mental health professional, monthly check-ins, and at least a year of state residence.

“Almost no one” would qualify under that restricted version of the law, Elliott said. But passing it would open the door to evaluation and expansion.

For further clarification Elliott told Bass in the wider interview at 21:30 that:
The bill would be, um, exceptionally narrow in scope, it would be the most narrow in scope bill of this kind were we to pass it. It would be, uh, six months left to live, you have to get sign-offs from multiple doctors—two doctors and one mental health physician—uh, and then you need to go for frequent check ins—I think it's like once a month—and you have, there is a one year residency requirement, so there are so many ways we limit who could actually use this bill, to the point I believe if we were actually to implement the way that we are talking about it, almost nobody would use it. But the important thing for me is to get this bill on the books, and then see how it's working, and if it's not and people aren't using it, than make those corrections to actually allow people to use it. So that is what we've been discussing.
Elliott is clearly explaining his "bait and switch" tactic, that his goal is to pass a "restrictive" assisted suicide bill and then expand the law later.

Amy Paulin, the sponsor of the New York assisted suicide bill, recently stated that they need to get the bill passed first and then expand it later

J.M. Sorrell, Executive Director of Massachusetts Death with Dignity, was quoted on a similar bill as saying,

“Once you get something passed, you can always work on amendments later.”
Clearly the assisted suicide lobby are willing to admit to their 'bait and switch' tactic.

The key to holding the line on assisted suicide is to stop states from legalizing it. The key to defeating an assisted suicide bill is to call it what it is. The purpose of assisted suicide is to cause death.

The other key to defeating assisted suicide bills is to clearly explain what the assisted suicide bill says. Those who support assisted suicide will vote based on ideology but many legislators will agree that the language of legislation is fundamental.

We now have solid evidence that when an assisted suicide bill is "restrictive" that the intention is to pass the bill and expand it later.

The assisted suicide lobby will use false terminology to sell assisted suicide as a form of healthcare that provides "choice" at the end-of-life. Assisted suicide is not healthcare or aid in dying and it provides death at the end of life.

The assisted suicide lobby claims that there is no slippery slope, yet, in the past few years nearly every assisted suicide law has been expanded by: reducing or eliminating the waiting periods, allowing non-doctors to participate in assisted suicide, allowing assisted suicide approvals by tele-health, expanding the meaning of terminal illness and removing the state residency requirement.

One of our greatest concerns is that the assisted suicide lobby have removed the residency requirements in Oregon and Vermont and they are now pressuring New Jersey to also permit assisted suicide tourism.

In October 2021, the assisted suicide lobby launched a court case challenging the Oregon assisted suicide residency requirement. In March, 2022 the Oregon government agreed to remove the residency requirement.

A February 2023 article by James Reinl for the Daily Mail reported that Dr Nicholas Gideonse had opened an assisted suicide clinic in Oregon to prescribe lethal assisted suicide drugs for death tourists.

As for Vermont, in August, 2022, the assisted suicide lobby launched a lawsuit challenging Vermont's assisted suicide residency requirement. Lisa Rathke reported in March, 2023 for the Associated Press that Vermont's attorney general's office reached an agreement with the assisted suicide lobby and dropped the Vermont assisted suicide residency requirement.

New Jersey is facing similar pressure. In August, 2023 the assisted suicide lobby launched a lawsuit to force the state of New Jersey to drop its assisted suicide residency requirement. The lawsuit claims that the New Jersey assisted suicide law is unconstitutional because it denies equal treatment.

If the assisted suicide residency requirement in New Jersey is removed, the assisted suicide lobby will establish an assisted suicide clinic in New Jersey to assist the suicides of people in the neighboring states that have not legalized assisted suicide.

The assisted suicide lobby is aware that they will not legalize assisted suicide in every state but by forcing states to permit suicide tourism, assisted suicide will then become available to every American.
The good news is that in
 April 2023, The United Spinal Association, Not Dead Yet, Institute for Patients’ Rights, Communities Actively Living Independent and Free, Lonnie VanHook, and Ingrid Tischer have launched a lawsuit to strike down the California assisted suicide law with the goal of the case going to the United States Supreme Court to strike down assisted laws throughout the US. (Link to the complaint).

The case asserts that the assisted suicide act is a discriminatory scheme, which creates a two-tiered medical system in which people who are suicidal receive radically different treatment responses by their physicians and protections from the State depending on whether the person has what the physician deems to be a “terminal disease”—which, by definition, is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Link to the article). 

More articles on this topic:

  • Assisted suicide laws violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (Link).
  • Vermont assisted suicide deaths more than quadruple (Link).
  • New York assisted suicide bill sponsor: Get this passed first, expand it later (Link).
  • American medical association maintains opposition to assisted suicide (Link).
  • Michigan debates deceptive assisted suicide bill (Link).
  • How medical aid in dying became the euphemism of choice for assisted suicide (Link).
  • Anita Cameron: Dont be fooled. Assisted suicide is suicide (Link).
  • Assisted sucide lobby launches lawsuit to allow assisted suicide tourism in New Jersey (Link).


iexhort said...

New Zealand’s euthanasia/ assisted suicide law is up for review this year. The author of the bill and main advocate for the law received a major boost in election results last year. Now he’s got more leverage and power. He pulled the bait and switch on NZ voters with the help of a very articulate terminally ill woman. The bill became law with the help of minor parties that voted as a block instead of an independent conscience vote. It was a travesty since it ignored overwhelming public and institutional opposition. The repugnant author of the bill is now talking about expanding the law to allow for the original bill proposal for longstanding degenerative illnesses to be included. Shameful and frightening.

patricia bowman said...

Same here in Canada ..... bait and switch. Dealth cult. Just saying.