James McGahee director “Office of protection for persons with disabilities” (a CT state entity) In opposition
Agency’s interest is from working with people with disabilities.
Disabilities have been used as “reasons not to provide certain types of medical treatment”.
“The degree to which the medical world will call them terminally ill, because they perceive them as suffering”.
He listed many mainstream groups that oppose the bill.
National Council on Disabilities, etc. which he considers primarily “progressive”
Time frames are unreliable.
“What about people who depend upon life protecting technologies to breath or eat?”
“There is a very great risk that people with these types of disabilities… will ask for and be given lethal prescriptions.” Even when they could have many years of
In Oregon reported numbers from lethal prescriptions and deaths have steadily increased over the years.
Among the least frequently cited reasons for lethal prescriptions is “pain”. Primarily it’s been for loss of independence.
It’s troubling that “needing personal assistance is equal to a loss of dignity”.
In Netherlands and Belgium we see proof of the slippery slope, from prescriptions issued for Anorexia, depression and loss of vision. Belgium has also now allowed children to receive it.
Rationalizations can emerge that will carry the practice far beyond the one originally intended.
Rep Johnson to McGahee. “is there any part of the legislation that can be fixed” to address your concerns
–“I think not” it’s about legitimizing the rationals that involve the very life circumstances about being disabled as not worth living.
Rep Winfield “how do you see us slipping down the slope”
–“My concerns” come from the “experience in Netherlands and Belgium” where there are supposed to be safeguards, they admit that they aren’t being used. Spouses say they can’t take care of them anymore and they have to choose a nursing home or suicide (Holland).
What are the differences in the laws?
–In Europe, doctors mostly have to actively administer the euthanasia. Their statute does not require terminal only suffering that can’t be alleviated.
I’m open to understanding your position, I’m considering voting for it. If you could help me.
–“I’d be happy to” (end of questions)