The Burlington Free Press today published the following excellent letter calling for the repeal of Act 39, the assisted suicide law. Unfortunately there is also an article on the opinion page in favor of assisted suicide. The link to the letter is
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/comment-debate/2014/07/30/repeal-physician-assisted-suicide-now/13334997/. The link to the pro assisted article is http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/comment-debate/2014/07/30/people-end-life-choice/13335007/.
Comments are urgently needed on both articles, but especially on the pro article. We need to see new names on these comments! Please help!
Repeal physician-assisted suicide, now
I’m confused. Years ago we did away with the death penalty in Vermont (and rightly so) because we understood that despite the care and precision of our legal system, mistakes could be made and an innocent person could be wrongly put to death. The Legislature wasn’t willing to take that chance and so abolished the death penalty.
Now we have Act 39 (physician-assisted suicide), another law whose only purpose is to result in the death of one of our citizens. Yet this law, with shockingly few protections and no oversight at all by our judicial system, passed the Legislature.
What is the difference here? A wrongful death is a wrongful death is a wrongful death.
Does the Legislature honestly believe our health care system is so perfect that there is absolutely no chance for error? It doesn’t appear so since the Legislature is spending almost all their time trying to reform health care. That doesn’t leave me feeling confident that the system is working 100 percent perfectly.
So, if the death penalty is wrong because an innocent person might die, why does the Legislature magically believe that no one will ever wrongfully die under Act 39?
Physician-assisted suicide is just as bad a law as the death penalty, and the Legislature needs to repeal it.
Michele Morin lives in Burlington.