A Vermont legislator who had voted against assisted suicide in 2007 but for it in 2013 explained that she changed her mind after constituents indicated on a questionnaire she circulated at town meeting that they wanted assisted suicide.
Another legislator, a leader in the winning fight against the bill in 2007 and the losing one in 2013, told us she heard from far fewer opponents in 2013 than in 2007.
We MUST make our voices heard to stop the implementation of this law. It is even worse than the bad laws in Oregon and Washington. Please speak to your senators and representatives at town meeting or by phone or email while they are at home.
Here, from Vermont Alliance for Ethical Health Care, is a list of reasons why the law is so bad. You can print it out and give it to your legislators or use it for talking points.
• Does NOT require a patient to have “capacity”
• Does NOT require that a patient be “capable” at the time of ingestion
• Does NOT require a patient to self-administer the lethal dose
• Does NOT provide immunity for nurses, pharmacists and others involved
• Does NOT provide immunity for health care facilities
• Does NOT require State oversight
• Does NOT require collection of data
• Does NOT track prescriptions
• Does NOT require annual reports
• Does NOT have rules for safe disposal of lethal drugs
• Does NOT have provisions to investigate allegations of abuse
• Does NOT require a disinterested witness be present at time of ingestion to verify that the patient is not under duress
• Does NOT require a physician or health care professional to be present
• Does NOT require that family be notified
• Does NOT protect physicians from a duty to inform terminally ill patients of lethal dose option even if premature, does not fit the standard of care, clinically inappropriate or violates a physician’s ethics
• Does NOT require that a patient be a Vermont resident
• Does NOT allow the physician prescribing the lethal drug to contact the patient’s primary physician unless the patient gives consent.