Proponents of assisted suicide in Vermont are scrambling to put a positive take on this years defeat.
Dick Walters, president of Patients Choices at End of Life Vermont, wrote a guest blog editorial for Death With Dignity National Center on May 8th, claiming that the majority of Vermonters support assisted suicide and that there was progress and real momentem in Vermont this year. Mr. Walters states that the progress made and momentem for passage is clear, although it is completely unclear what progress and momentum he is referring to.
The facts remain as this:
- Legislation to legalize assisted suicide in Vermont was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The legislation was afforded a fair hearing, and was still defeated.
- Opponents at this hearing outnumbered proponents by at least 3 to 1.
- The legislation was opposed by both the Vermont Medical Society, and disability rights groups.
- Proponents of assisted suicide then tried a sneaky back-handed maneuver to attach language legalizing assisted suicide to a piece of legislation regulating tanning beds.
- This resulted in an embarrassing defeat for proponents. At times supporters were left stammering and completely unable to defend the legislation, even asking for a recess to regain composure.
- The maneuver was defeated by a full senate vote of 18 to 11.
- A broad coalition of both Republicans and Democrats opposed the legislation.
- Twice this year, supporters of assisted suicide have failed to convince Vermont Senators to support their legislation.