On behalf of Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare (VAEH) I want update you on what is happening in the Legislature concerning Physician Assisted Suicide.
You may have heard that the focus has shifted to the Senate and the fate of S.0103 An Act Relating to Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life. The VAEH leadership is working diligently with our lobbyists and supportive members of the Senate, but we need your assistance to ensure that this bill does not pass the Senate during the current session.
We are asking you to contact your Senators and voice your opposition to S.0103.
The main “talking points” that we have used are:
• This legislation “medicalizes” Physician Assisted Suicide because it makes Physician Assisted Suicide a medical procedure.
• With recent legislation, the access to first rate hospice and palliative care in Vermont has increased significantly; to the point where this sort of legislation is not needed
• The bill fails on the level of transparency – the death certificate must read that the person died of natural causes, when in fact the person took her/his own life.
•This is a distraction and a very emotional issue at a time when Vermonters are recovering from hurricane Irene, and have experienced a high level of community and togetrherness over the past seberal months. A divided and visceral debate over this issue only undermines Vermonters sense of togetrherness.
• Polls show that the vast majority of Vermonters believe that the Legislature should not spend valuable time on this issue this year when so many other issues are pressing.