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In the News

A young latina woman with shoulder length brown curly hair, medium skin, and dark eyes smiles at the camera. She is wearing a white blouse and black jacket.

We are proud to introduce our next Coalitions Director, María José Fernandez Flores!​

María José came to apply through our mutual connections at California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization. She has worked in direct lobbying and worked in coalitions on human dignity issues, including assisted suicide, restorative justice, immigrant rights, victim empowerment, and advocacy on behalf of incarcerated persons. María José is a proud dreamer, born in Lima, Peru, who grew up in Northern California. She has an intuitive sense and passion for this issue, and we are grateful for her leadership and perspective…

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BMJ article about increased patient suicide draws wrong conclusions

A BMJ article titled “Some groups of terminally ill patients are twice as likely to die by suicide, data show” draws the wrong conclusion from the data surrounding increased patient suicide. The study referenced in the article, done by the Office for National Statistics, records that patients with some serious conditions are twice as likely as the general population to kill themselves compared to control groups with similar socio-demographic characteristics…

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Close up of an older white man with black glasses and gray hair. He wears a white collared shirt and a blue jacket. Black background.

Introducing Deputy Coalitions Director for Disability Outreach

The Patients’ Rights Action Fund (PRAF) is pleased to announce a new focus for our colleague, Ian McIntosh, who will now be our Deputy Coalitions Director for Disability Outreach. He has long personal experiences with the intersection of disability and healthcare. Those experiences include being a patient/consumer as a person with a disability whose life was significantly affected following a serious car accident; as an end-of-life caregiver; and as a spouse to a person with disabilities.

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Webinar: Fighting Assisted Suicide Coast to Coast, March 11th 2022

Fighting Assisted Suicide Coast to Coast: The big picture in the states, federal, and judiciary Friday, March 11th 2022 4:00pm to 5:30pm EST REGISTER TODAY The Patients’ Rights Action Fund and our allies fight the legalization of assisted suicide public policy, which is dangerous and discriminatory. You are invited to attend a webinar for a

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A person holds their phone in one hand and a coffee cup in another. The hands are Black, the person wears green nursing scrubs with a name tag that says "Jennifer Martin, RN". They also wear a gray coat over the scrubs.

Misconceptions about Opposition to Assisted Suicide Expansion

Assisted suicide proponents are doing a bait and switch – they use “safeguards” to convince legislators to pass the bills only to strip away those same precautions a few years later. Proponents of assisted suicide in Washington state are doing exactly this, claiming there is a barrier to access the lethal drugs because of the meager ‘safeguards’ they promised would make the bill safe to pass in the first place…

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No, assisted suicide should not be another option for end-of-life care.

Anyone dying in discomfort may legally today, in all 50 states, receive palliative sedation. The patient would be sedated and discomfort relieved while the dying process takes place. This is a legal practice that accomplishes the supposed goal of assisted suicide laws without all the baggage. But proponents of assisted suicide laws are trying to

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A Delaware legal building made of red brick.

Assisted Suicide is BAD Legislation

The Washington Post published a piece on the debate happening in Delaware around assisted suicide bill HB 140. In the article, they summarize some of the stipulations in the bill:  “The bill states that any provision in a contract, will, or other agreement that would affect whether an individual could make or rescind a request

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Inmate Seeks Assisted Suicide Despite being Treatable

  Larry Smith, an inmate with throat cancer in Maine is enlisting the help of Maine’s so-called “Death With Dignity” law to end his life through assisted suicide.  Smith has Stage 2 throat cancer. A Stage 2 diagnosis is early and likely treatable. Smith is currently receiving treatment for his cancer while incarcerated. But in

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A black woman helps an elderly blac wan out of a wicker chair. The woman wears a yellow sweater and the man wears a blue sweater.

Underserved Communities, Hospice, and Healthcare Inequity

The Black Wall Street Times reports that a hospice organization in Tennessee is filling the gap in inequitable end-of-life care by catering specifically to the Black families in their community. The article reports that in Tennessee, just 19% of hospice patients are Black, despite Black families making up 27% of the population in the state.

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Filmmaker Jaime Osorio Marquez stands in front of a white wall. He has dark curly hair that falls in his face and is wearing a white shirt and black puffer jacket. He looks into the camera with a neutral expression.

Choosing death over Interdependence

HBO Max’s “A Thousand Fangs” director Jaime Osorio Márquez died by assisted suicide in Colombia on December 23, 2021, after a years-long fight with kidney cancer. He was 46 years old. His producing partner and friend, Federico Duran, reportedly communicated that Osorio was compelled to end his life before he became a burden on his

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Austria allows “right” to assisted suicide

Starting in 2022, Austrians who are “chronically, seriously ill or have no prospect of recovery will be able to state their will to die” and be given suicide assistance. The article published by the Associated Press calls this allowance to die by assisted suicide “tightly limited”. These “tightly limited” allowances enable people with disabilities to

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The Real Debate on Assisted Suicide

Recently, The New York Times wrote about the assisted suicide debate being inflamed by Philip Nitschke’s suicide pod. Besides the disquieting thought of a personalized gas chamber invented by the man who wants to make suicide available to everyone without barriers, the Sarco pod does not actually ignite the debate on assisted suicide. The device

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Some patients get suicide prevention while others get suicide assistance.

Assisted suicide is dangerous and discriminatory. One example of this is that some medical professionals decide which patients to give suicide prevention to and which patients to assist.  “Interviews with hospice staff in Washington in the US, where a form of medically assisted dying is available, found that they encountered different types of suicide, and

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Oncologists say Cancer Patients Experience Mental Distress. Assisted Suicide is not the answer.

    Cancer Patients are Suffering From Mental Distress According to Healthline, research shows more than 80% of oncologists say they frequently see mental health distress in their patients; more than 90% of oncologists agree or strongly agree that mental health has a significant impact on cancer outcomes; approximately 93% of oncologists surveyed say they’ve

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Suicide Contagion is REAL and Assisted Suicide is part of the problem

  The Devastating Reality of Suicide Contagion The New York Times investigative team talks about a disturbing discovery on an episode of The Daily podcast titled “Kids Are Dying How Are These Sites Still Allowed?” and a companion article called “Where the Despairing Log On, and Learn Ways to Die” The podcast is about websites that exist online where

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Sarco suicide pod, a purple, plastic, futuristic looking looking coffin with smooth sides sits on display in a white room.

3D Printers and Suicide Contagion

Dr. Philip Nitschke of Exit International, whose mission is to normalize and regularize suicide, has created the Sarco Suicide Pod. The pod floods with nitrogen and reduces oxygen, activated by the person laying inside, killing in minutes. The Sarco pod advertises a pain and drug-free method of suicide. The Sarco pod is making headlines because

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Same day Suicides and California’s loosened “safeguards”

Yesterday’s “safeguards”, which proponents use to get laws passed in the first place, become today’s obstacles. In January 2020, Oregon adjusted the safeguard requiring a 15-day waiting period between the formal request for lethal drugs and receiving the prescription. Starting in January 2022, California’s waiting period will be reduced from 15 days to a meager

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Assisted Suicide and the “Burden” on Doctors

Patients from around the world travel to Switzerland to end their lives at euthanasia clinics inside the country’s border. Erika Preisig, President at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic, and proponent of the practice calls the burden on doctors to choose which patients live and which die difficult, but justifies it with a quality of life

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