On Thursday, the Seven Days blog wrote that the senate vote on assisted suicide, which will probably take place on Tuesday, February 12, is too close to call (http://7d.blogs.com/offmessage/2013/02/death-rithmatic-the-vote-count-on-physician-assisted-suicide.html)..
There are five undecided senators: Donald Collins of Franklin County, Elred French of Rutland County, Peter Galbraith of Windham County, Bob Hartwell of Bennington County, and John Rogers of Essex-Orleans District.
It is especially important to contact these senators if you live in their districts, but now is the time for all Vermonters to contact them. We are all constituents in the sense that their votes will affect all our lives. Call 802 828-2228 to leave a message with the Sergeant at Arms. Individual contact information is available at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/legdir/alpha.cfm?Body=S&Session=2014.
Urge the senators to vote against this bill, which is as unneeded as it is dangerous.
Any person can commit suicide non-violently without help and with his family at his side, without getting our doctors involved; the Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth Hitchcock told the Heath and Welfare Committee that last week. This bill protects no one’s right to choose how his life ends. We each already have that right.
This bill actually works against the choices of many, including those
1)will commit suicide, even though they are not terminally ill, because they have come to see assisted suicide as a solution to life’s problems
2)will be abused or even murdered using the suicide drugs
3)will commit suicide years before they would have died because their doctors have given them a wrong prognosis,
4)will commit suicide without full knowledge of palliative options
5)will commit suicide because their treatable depression was not found or was disregarded
6)will commit suicide without their families’ knowing in advance and without the families’ having a chance to offer care
7)will commit suicide because their insurance offers to cover it while turning down coverage of life-prolonging treatment
8) will commit suicide because they feel a duty to spare families, insurance providers, and society the economic, emotional and time costs of the end of life care they deserve.
Now is the time to speak out. Our voices can stop this legislation in its tracks, with a definitive vote that will keep it away for years. It is time for our legislature to stop wasting time debating assisted suicide in every biennium while Vermont’s urgent problems go unsolved.