The Bay State Banner, a generally liberal Boston newspaper, today published the following editorial opposing the legalization of assisted suicide. We have also included a supportive comment by Second Thoughts, the disablitly rights group that has been one of the chief voices fighting this dangerous Massachusetts initiative, which will be a ballot question on election day. If you have friends who live in Massachusetts, please urge them to vote against Question 2. You can read the editorial online at http://www.baystatebanner.com/editorial51-2012-10-04.
Vote No on Question 2
Americans are free to terminate their lives without special legal consequences. However, anyone else they might involve in the enterprise will have to answer to the criminal law for their own conduct.
Question 2 on the November ballot wants to change that. Anyone who is diagnosed by a doctor with a terminal illness and is determined to have only six months to live may then obtain a prescription for medication that will end his or her life. The doctor will suffer no legal consequences.
It is customary for citizens of the Bay State to want more freedoms rather than greater restrictions, but Question 2 is potentially harmful for several reasons, including:
1. It is not uncommon to be misdiagnosed as having a terminal illness, and patients often survive well beyond the projected six months;
2. There is no more distressing time than to be informed of one’s imminent death, and Question 2 provides inadequate protections against a bad decision; and
3. Question 2 would enable a doctor to violate restrictions of the Hippocratic Oath, which has established medical ethics relied on by doctors for centuries.
While every individual indeed has the right to terminate his or her life, Question 2 fails to provide adequate precautionary provisions to permit the legally sanctioned involvement of others. Citizens should vote “no” on Question 2.
Oct 4 15:46pm by Second Thoughts: People with Disabilities Opposing Question 2 [126.96.36.199]
It’s great to see a progressive voice against Question 2! “It is customary for citizens of the Bay State to want more freedoms rather than greater restrictions, but Question 2 is potentially harmful for several reasons.” The Banner lists some, here are some more:
MONEY — for $100, assisted suicide will be the cheapest treatment. Cost cutting already affects medical treatment decisions. Assisted suicide saves insurance companies money.
ABUSE — the law doesn’t care what happens to the lethal drugs. No witness is required when the overdose is taken. An heir can be a witness when you sign your request.
UNCARING — no psychological evaluation is required or recommended. People with a history of depression and suicide attempts can easily get the drugs.
BURDEN –people who need care will feel they should die to not be a burden to their family. Some family members will consider the person a burden and want them to die.
UNNECESSARY — each person already has the right to refuse treatment, food and water, and to get comfort care, including pain-relieving sedation.
DISCRIMINATION — everyone with a terminal diagnosis has a disability. Disabled people deserve suicide prevention not suicide encouragement. People should be supported to live in their communities.
The more people learn about Question 2, the more they have SECOND THOUGHTS. Please join us at www.second-thoughts.org