The article in parentheses below appeared in the Burlington Free Press on August 16. We need to pay attention. Watch this site in early September for alerts.
Physician-assisted death in Vermont in 2012?
1:12 PM Tue., August 16, 2011 | Permalink
By Terri Hallenbeck
Last week at his news conference, Gov. Peter Shumlin indicated legislation to legalize physician-assisted death would not be ready for takeoff next year. “As you know, the votes are not there in the Senate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the group Patient Choices Vermont was sending a mailing out to supporters that says, “Since the end of the legislation session, we’ve had meetings with the legislative leadership and the governor’s staff to urge them to make Death with Dignity a priority for 2012.”
The mailing, from Patient Choices Vermont President Dick Walters, went on: “We believe that if we can stay active in our local communities and make sure legislators know that Vermonters overwhelmingly support Death with Dignity, we will see the bill passed this coming year.”
Indeed, this year the votes weren’t there in the Senate for this legislation, which would allow those with a terminal illness and less than six months to live to opt for a lethal dose of medication. It does not have the support of some powerful people in the Senate, including President Pro Tempore John Campbell and veteran Sen. Dick Mazza.
Shumlin has also proven himself to be a powerful force in the Senate – both when he was pro tem and since he’s been governor. Whether he deploys his power on this issue next year remains to be seen. It might not be a lion he wants roaring in an election year.