Assisted Suicide Bill – OPPOSE. This week, the Oregon-based special interest group Compassion & Choices has once again introduced legislation (Senate Bill 311/House Bill 399) that would legalize physician-assisted suicide (PAS) here in Maryland. A hearing on a hearing on Senate Bill 311 is scheduled for Tuesday, February 19th in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and a hearing on House Bill 399 is scheduled for Friday, February 15 in the House Health & Government Operations Committee. Maryland Right to Life (MDRTL) will be working closely with a coalition to prevent consideration of this dangerous legislation. TAKE ACTION TO DEFEAT THIS BAD BILL NOW.
Dangers of Proposed Assisted Suicide (PAS) Legislation in Maryland.
Tragic consequences of Oregon's Assisted Suicide law:
- Proposed Physician Assisted Suicide legislation in Maryland is nearly identical to Oregon's law. In Oregon, cancer patients Randy Stroup and Barbara Wagner's personal physicians requested cancer treatment for them. But Oregon's Health Plan refused to pay for that treatment and instead offered to pay for their suicides under the so-called "Death with Dignity Act."
- People with terminal diagnoses often outlive a doctor's prediction and some diagnoses are just plain wrong.
- People may feel they are a "burden" and be coerced into suicide.
- Maryland's proposed AS law poses many dangers to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, that might let them fall prey to undue influence from doctors or family members, resulting in a lack of true informed consent.
- Depression leads some to seek suicide, but depression is treatable. Nothing in the proposed Maryland legislation requires screening for mental health.
Who benefits from assisted suicide? Follow the money:
- Insurance companies and state health plans can save money by not treating patients.
- Surviving relatives, who may inherit more money sooner, can be involved in the decision making for their relative's suicide.
While two witnesses must be present at the patient's request of physician assisted suicide, NONE are needed at the time of the suicide. Patients may be coerced into taking the drug, or another person may administer the drug, allowing for potential abuse.
Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia - The Long Term Danger.
Once assisted suicide and euthanasia are legalized, the scope of any initial "safeguards" and limitations eventually get broadened by subsequent court decisions and medical interruptions. For example:
Belgium - Elderly couple died together by assisted suicide even though they were not ill because they were afraid of dying alone.
Netherlands - Physician assisted euthanasia and suicide deaths in 2015 totaled 7,254...431 were "not requested."
Switzerland - Tourism to Switzerland for assisted suicide is growing, often for non-fatal diseases.