A moratorium on Act 39, the legislative malpractice that legalized assisted suicide in VT, is being proposed by the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare. Today (Feb 27) they held a press conference with the Vermont Center for Independent Living at the State House in Montpelier.
It’s upsetting to think that the legislature has not yet passed such measures to protect Vermonters from such a horrid law. VAEH and VCIL presented a large banner that outlined several of the numerous flaws in the assisted-suicide law.
Oh simple things like:
“• Does NOT have provisions to investigate allegations of abuse.” and a
“• Requirement that physicians notify terminally ill patients of the assisted-suicide option – whether or not the physician thinks it’s an ethical or a good care practice.”
VAEH President, Edward Mahoney,called upon the Speaker of the House, Shap Smith, Senate Majority Leader, Philip Baruth, and Governor Peter Shumlin, to take the responsible course of action and place a moratorium, effective immediately, on Act 39.
Edward Mahoney was joined by Lynne Vitzthum, who represents the Vermont Center for Independent Living, Peter Gummere, a Bioethicist from St. Johnsbury and Lynne Caulfield, a Registered Nurse from Brattleboro. Ed Paquin, Director of the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights was unable to attend due to illness, but submitted a prepared statement for the press.
Both Vitzthum and Paquin spoke of the problems accessing good medical care that those with disabilities face, the difference in how their lives are valued by the medical community and outlined the compelling reasons why Act 39 opens the door to making them more vulnerable to pressure and abuse..
Here’s VTDigger’s article on the event.
Promoters of assisted suicide were also in attendance to vigorously oppose any attempt to overturn Act 39 or place a moratorium on the law despite the obvious flaws and lack of protections – displaying a complete lack of regard for the protection of human lives.