Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby published an opinion piece Legalizing assisted suicide would send a devastating message on October 10th, 2021. The article summarizes the problems with assisted suicide legislation following the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health’s hearing on October 1, 2021. The Committee heard testimony on bills H2381 and S1384. These bills would legalize assisted suicide in the state of Massachusetts. Jacoby covers the suicide epidemic in the United States, the contradiction of healthcare workers to help patients commit suicide, and the insidious language used to disguise suicide as healthcare.
Jacoby cites the American Medical Association:
The bill is named the “End of Life Options Act.” Advocates in the past have used other language to describe the practice, including “death with dignity” and “aid in dying.” In the careful language of the American Medical Association, however, “despite its negative connotations, the term ‘physician-assisted suicide’ describes the practice with the greatest precision.” The connotations are negative because assisting suicide, in the view of most AMA members, “is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.”
He also addresses the stipulation in the bills that medical workers cannot record assisted suicide as the cause of death, instead they would cite the underlying condition of the patient, is essentially falsifying death records. This practice is used to further disassociate “aid in dying” with suicide. Jacoby highlights this:
To cloak suicide in the trappings of health care is a sham. Not surprisingly, falsification is integral to assisted-suicide laws. The measure before the Legislature, for example, specifies that the physician who signs the death certificate after the patient commits suicide “shall list the underlying terminal disease as the cause of death” flat violation of the basic standards for certifying deaths. A patient with inoperable lung cancer may have only six weeks to live, but if he dies in a car accident, is murdered in an armed robbery, or jumps from a bridge, his cause of death will not be listed as cancer. Yet if he commits suicide by taking lethal drugs under the provisions of H.2381, his cause of death must be listed as cancer.
Legalizing assisted suicide in Massachusetts does not give care to those who are already sick. It puts vulnerable people at risk for being coerced and abused to make a choice they may not want to make. Tell Massachusetts legislators to vote no on H2381 and S1384.
Read the article on Boston Globe: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/10/opinion/legalizing-assisted-suicide-would-send-devastating-message/
Read more on this issue: Massachusetts LULAC Stands Opposed to Assisted Suicide