Bill to Allow Physician-Assisted Suicide Sparks Discourse

Bill to Allow Physician-Assisted Suicide Sparks Discourse

 

Opponents of assisted suicide held a press conference Wednesday to reject legislation allowing patients with terminal conditions to request a life-ending substance from a physician…

“Suicide is incredibly sad,” said Dr. Mary Lopez during the press event held at the Pocahontas Building. “As a nation, we do not want to see our people killing themselves…” Lopez is the executive director of the Independence Empowerment Center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing options for people with disabilities. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1992, and she spoke with others in opposition to House Bill 1649.

Kristen Hanson, a community relations advocate for Patients’ Rights Action Fund, spoke first.. Her organization is a nonprofit which aims to “oppose efforts to make suicide a legal medical treatment option,” according to the group’s website.

She said her husband, J.J., lived three and a half years after doctors diagnosed him with terminal brain cancer. If assisted suicide had been legal at the time of J.J.’s diagnosis, Hanson said her husband could have accessed a life-ending substance “during his darkest days.”

“Thankfully, J.J. didn’t end his life,” Hanson said in her statement. “But if he had suicide pills with him, he said he might have taken them. And you can’t undo that. There’s no going back.”

Hanson said allowing suicide as a medical treatment could subject families to government pressure and the decisions of insurance companies, and that the state should improve other health care options instead.

Read more at US News & World Report…