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In the News

2020 Spring Newsletter

In this issue: -Why assisted suicide laws are inherently discriminatory against people with disabilities -Michael Hickson’s story of being denied care by his doctors based on subjective  quality of life judgements -2020 Legislative State Status Update -New free downloadable California advance health care directive  

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How Deeply Ableist is Mainstream Media?

Assisted suicide laws set up an ableist two-tier system, where some people get suicide prevention and others, namely those with life-threatening disabilities, get suicide assistance. This results in death to the devalued group. Nothing could be more discriminatory. A man named Michael Hickson died on June 11, 2020. He was denied food an fluids for 6

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When telemedicine can be dangerous — even deadly

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to adapt the way we access health care, and telehealth is now widely used to overcome many hurdles related to receiving in-person attention. But there are some contexts in which relying on telemedicine can be dangerous — even deadly. Telemedicine should never be used in the context of assisted

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Kristen Hanson & Ashton Ellis Discuss Advanced Healthcare Directives on Fight Back! Podcast

  Kristen Hanson, Community Relations Advocate with the Patients Rights Action Fund, joins host Steve Poizner on the Fight Back! podcast to discuss advanced healthcare directives, an important legal document that addresses such end-of-life issues as “do not resuscitate” orders, treatment options, healthcare proxies, and more.  Ashton Ellis, who is an attorney and expert on advanced

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Black Disabled Man Dies From COVID-19 After Texas Hospital Refused to Treat Him

A Black disabled man died from COVID-19 in Austin, Texas, after doctors declined to provide hydration, nutrition and treatment based on a “quality of life” decision. Disability advocates highlighted that the discriminatory attitudes behind these “quality of life” decisions are rampant — and dangerous. Michael Hickson, who was married and had five children, was hospitalized

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Did Covid-19 open the door to euthanasia in Sweden?

  Disturbing figures are coming from Sweden about the number of Covid-19 deaths amongst the elderly. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, half of the people who died in Sweden were residents of nursing homes… The health authorities have received many complaints about how elderly relatives were treated. A consistent theme is

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The case against assisted suicide

  The Massachusetts Joint Public Health Committee recently reported out of committee the controversial bill (S.2745) that would legalize assisted suicide. This puts bill S.2745 one step closer to a vote. Some residents have asked: Other states have passed it, why not us? It is important to note that, compared to the states that have

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Kafka’s death bill advances

After at least five legislative sessions without advancing beyond the committee stage, bills that would open the door to doctors prescribing lethal doses for terminally ill patients got favorable reports from the Committee on Public Health… The bills (H 1926/S 1208) that would legalize medical aid in dying – sometimes referred to as doctor-assisted suicide

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In opposition to physician assisted suicide

  Recently the Joint Committee on Public Health approved a Physician Assisted Suicide bill (HB 1926 and SB 1208). If it reaches final approval, state sanctioned suicide will be the law of the land in Massachusetts. This is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer. The American Medical Association has strongly rejected it. Physicians

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Second Thoughts Press Release On Continuing Danger of Massachusetts Assisted Suicide Bill

Second Thoughts Massachusetts issues the following statement in opposition to the favorable report given by the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health to Bill S.1208/H.1926, legislation that would legalize assisted suicide in Massachusetts. John Kelly “I’m amazed and disappointed that as a deadly virus is stalking and killing older, ill, and disabled people, and

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Oklahoma bans healthcare reimbursements based on age, ability

  An elderly or disabled person will not be billed extra or be blocked from receiving health care because of high costs in Oklahoma, after passage of anti-discrimination legislation. On Friday, Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, approved the “Nondiscrimination in Health Care Coverage” Act, which would prevent a state agency from using age, chronic illness,

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Pandemic’s painful truth; we don’t value elders

Legalizing assisted suicide in a society with unequal access to affordable health care, let alone end of life care, creates an unintended and unspoken pressure on terminally ill patients, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities to not to be a burden that constrains freedom of choice rather than expanding it.  This is especially dangerous in

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Ventilator: A matter of life or death

As the COVID-19 pandemic hurdles us to the breaking point of our medical system in various hot spots across the country, we are being forced to face our faults and our fears in the raw. We are at a critical point in history, and how we care for vulnerable patients will be judged by generations

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