Below in italics is an excellent letter providing additional evidence in support of the editorial against assisted suicide that appeared January 7, 2012 in the Orleans County Record and the Caledonian Record.
To the Editor:
Your editorial (“Keep the Door Closed”, Jan. 7) contains an ominous warning about the danger of the assisted suicide bill being pushed by Sen. Ginny Lyons and some other legislators, seemingly oblivious to the reasonable concerns of the bill’s opponents. You noted that the state’s history of botched regulatory efforts.
One specific, very timely and highly relevant illustration of regulatory incompetence can be found in the area of protection of vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation. In early December of this year, a disabilities rights group filed a suit against the State of Vermont because of its failure to protect disabled and elderly and otherwise vulnerable citizens of this state. This is not a trivial problem. The backlog has been running in the order of 300 cases yet to be investigated. The abuse and exploitation alleged ranges from financial manipulation and exploitation to physical and even sexual abuse!
It is truly outrageous to suggest that the State of Vermont is competent to effectively manage a program that oversees assisted suicide when it cannot even investigate and clear a backlog of 300 reported cases of abuse of the disabled and elderly, let alone prevent the abuse in the first place!
Assisted suicide is laden with the potential for manipulation and exploitation of the worst kind – i.e. exploitation and manipulation with fatal consequences.