The following (in italics) from the Death with Dignity national website shows what we are fighting and how precarious our situation is. Now that the governor has achieved his most important objectives, the way is paved for assisted suicide to come up early in the next session.
We need to offer our thanks and support to legislators who have taken public stances against the bill, continue providing information to those who say they are still deciding, and tell the supporters of the bill in no uncertain terms that the people of Vermont do not want assisted suicide in our state.
Here’s the quote:
In Vermont, a coalition made up of local families, activists, advocates, and lobbyists has made tremendous progress toward enacting a Death with Dignity law. House Bill 274 was introduced with 44 sponsors and Senate Bill 103 followed with 11 sponsors—representing more than a third of the Senate. Both have the support of the governor, who called on the legislative leaders to bring the bill to his desk for signature (http://www.deathwithdignity.org/).
If you read the whole article from Death with Dignity, you will see the extremism of this group clearly. It even opposed (successfully) a bill in Oregon to require counseling for all seeking assisted suicide there. We should remember that the VT bill does not require counseling for all seekers of lethal overdoses, or even all seekers who are depressed. Whether a mental health referral is made is left up to the discretion of two doctors, both of whom must be willing to prescribe the barbiturates and to give instructions to a person on how to use them to cause death. The doctors have to think, not that the patient is depressed, but that his depression impairs his judgement. Funny, we thought that the definition of depression was a distortion of a person’s thought processes, so othat everything seems worse than it is. Under the VT law, as under Oregon’s law, people will be helped to commit suicide who might change their minds if their depression were treated! What a betrayal!