Friday, October 20, 2023

Anita Cameron Testifies Against the Legalization of Assisted Suicide

Nationally renowned disability activist Anita Cameron testified at a hearing this morning before the Joint Committee on Public Health of the Massachusetts legislature, in opposition to a proposed bill seeking to legalize assisted suicide.

Witnesses were given two minutes each. This is her testimony:

I’m Anita Cameron, Director of Minority Outreach for Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights organization opposed to medical discrimination, healthcare rationing, euthanasia and assisted suicide. I am here in opposition to H. 2246 & S. 1331, the End of Life Options Act

These laws are dangerous because though they are supposed to be for people with six months or less to live, doctors are often wrong about a terminal diagnosis. My mother, while living in Washington state, was determined to be terminal and was placed in hospice.

She didn’t die, but lived almost 12 years!

Please vote NO.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Major Assisted Suicide Win in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

By Barbara Lyons

We are thrilled to announce that a favorable decision was reached in Kligler v. Healy by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts which rejected the notion that there is a right to assisted suicide in the Massachusetts Constitution.  

Here is a key phrase from the decision:
Although we recognize the paramount importance and profound significance of all end-of-life decisions, after careful consideration, we conclude that the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights does not reach so far as to protect physician-assisted suicide.3 We conclude as well that the law of manslaughter may prohibit physician-assisted suicide, and does so, without offending constitutional protections.

Monday, May 9, 2022

John Kelly's Statement Against S1384

Over the last 15 years, the Massachsett's legislature and, in 2012, the people of the state, have wisely rejected the legalization of assisted suicide as too dangerous. The legislature should likewise reject S1384, which despite its name does not provide dying people "end-of-life options."

The tragic reality is that under legalized assisted suicide, some people's lives will be ended without their true consent, through misdiagnosis, persuasion, coercion and abuse, insurance denials and depression. No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone.

NPR reported five years ago that up to 20% of people who enter hospice outlive their six months prognosis. In Oregon, 4% of people who enter the assisted suicide program are alive at the end of six months. The difference between 4% and 20% is the percent of people and their families who may have lost months, years, and in some cases decades of meaningful life.

There is no way to contain eligibility to a narrow set of people. Anorexia nervosa and diabetes now qualify as terminal conditions in other states. Disabled people like me are eligible in Canada, and some predict disabled people will be eligible here.

Proponents always talk about pain and suffering, but the end-of-life concerns in Oregon show that people are upset about depending on other people and are feeling like a burden.

Just as many people disqualify me from full humanity because of my disability, some people disqualify themselves and are disqualified by others when they need help.

The state of Massachusetts must not sponsor people's suicides because other people consider them a burden, because they believe they are dying when they are not, and because they have been denied the treatment and support services that would keep them alive.

// John B. Kelly is Director of "Second Thoughts Massachusetts"

NPR reference: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/11/542607941/nearly-1-in-5- hospice-patients-discharged-while-still-alive

Friday, February 18, 2022

EPC - USA Files Brief to Massachusetts Supreme Court in the Kligler Assisted Suicide Case

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Directive, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In January 2020 the assisted suicide lobby appealed a  Massachusetts Superior court decision which found that there was no right to assisted suicide in Massachusetts. 

Recently the Massachusetts Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and yesterday, EPC-USA submitted a brief in the Massachusetts Supreme Court in this case. 

The case known as Kligler concerns Dr Roger Kligler, who is living with prostate cancer and seeking death by assisted suicide and Dr Alan Schoenberg, who is willing to prescribe lethal drugs for Kligler to die by assisted suicide.  Kligler who claimed to be terminally ill when launching the case in 2016 remains alive today.

Kligler and Schoenberg are arguing that doctors cannot be prosecuted for prescribing lethal drugs for assisted suicide to a competent terminally ill person under the Massachusetts state constitution.