House Bill 1659 effectively gives physicians permission to prescribe drugs that result in patient suicide. We have serious concerns about the potential impact on New Hampshire’s at-risk population if this bill passes. It normalizes suicide as medical care and corrupts the doctor/patient relationship.
New Hampshire suicide rates are up nearly 50% over the past 10 years. New laws have been passed recently to beef up suicide prevention efforts because there are populations, including veterans, teens, people with disabilities, brain injury survivors and the elderly “pre-disposed” to suicide for reasons including depression, lack of autonomy and inability to engage in activities that make life enjoyable.
New Hampshire has a suicide crisis and has set an ambitious goal of zero suicides. This bill works against that goal. What sort of a message does it send to at-risk people if New Hampshire passes a law that says suicide is an easily achieved option?
…HB 1659 goes against the very essence of who we are as citizens of New Hampshire. If we want to show that we value the lives of at-risk teens, the elderly, people with disabilities and veterans who have fought for our country, we should be focusing our energy on providing them with care, not with death.
(Steven Wade is the executive director of the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire in Concord and a member of the N.H. Coalition Against Assisted Suicide.)
Read more at the Concord Monitor…