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Dangers of physician assisted suicide

  Regarding the recent letter from Don P. Perez, MD, I must respectfully yet strenuously disagree. His letter opined that in spite of the coronavirus outbreak state legislators must move forward on passing H. 1926 and S. 1208 which would legalize physician assisted suicide (PAS) in Massachusetts. Actually, it is because of the coronavirus outbreak

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Palliative care must be more accessible

  The New York State Legislature should promote skilled end-of-life care rather than focusing on ending life prematurely. The International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care recently published (Journal of Palliative Medicine 2017; 20:8-13) a studied position statement (Journal of Palliative Medicine 2017; 20:8-13). In it they conclude: “No country or state should consider the

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PRAF Commends OCR’s Call for Equity During Pandemic Triage

“We are grateful that the Office of Civil Rights and the Administration heard the call for equity in triage and the allocation of scarce medical resources by issuing guidance reminding states, hospitals, and medical providers that discrimination will not stand. It is unthinkable, however, that the HHS General Counsel could limit the scope of this guidance by

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BULLETIN: Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  In light of the Public Health Emergency concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing this bulletin to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination

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Legislators need to see our tears

  American democracy is based on the idea that the voices of the people matter.  As legislators struggle with difficult issues, trying to balance the needs of conflicting constituencies and solve complicated problems, they need to hear the perspectives of the people most directly affected. This is why they listen to hour after hour of

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Tom Steffens: Legalizing assisted suicide risks harm to veterans

Rear Adm. Tom Steffens, U.S. Navy (retired) When I was on active duty, one of the key tenets of our Navy SEAL Creed was, “Leave no one behind.” I see this same principle alive across our commonwealth as civil society and our public servants work tirelessly to support our 700,000 veterans every day. Despite that

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State’s assisted suicide bill imperils elder citizens

  In 20 years of working with geriatric patients, I have seen the frightened faces, emaciated and bruised bodies, and the hopelessness of abuse victims. My patients taught me the five types of elder abuse: neglect, financial exploitation, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. New York state legislators could create a new category: legally

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My Life Is More ‘Disposable’ During This Pandemic

  Like many people all over the world, I am not leaving the house now. For me, though, staying home is nothing new. I am in bed as I write this, propped up by my usual heap of cushions, talking to other sick and disabled people all day on my laptop about how the hell

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COVID-19 Reveals A Deadly Failure of Priorities

  With the looming and imminent threat of insufficient hospital and ICU beds, medical equipment and healthcare staff, I found myself recalling an old favorite TV show from my college years. MASH (mobile army surgical hospital) created both comedy and drama around the reality of having three operating room beds in an army tent on

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Assisted suicide is invitation to murder

  As a person who has a significant disability that impacts all areas of my life, I experienced anger, disappointment and frustration in reading the column about Ralph McFadden, who hopes that he is living in Illinois when the time comes for him to take a pill that will cause his death…He has seen people

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Maryland should reject assisted suicide

    Contrary to the March 9 editorial “Avoiding unnecessary suffering,” the data as well as personal experience confirm that assisted suicide puts at risk the lives of many vulnerable people who deserve to be valued equally. Although the editorial asserted that this ill-conceived public policy is intended to relieve suffering, the data it referenced

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Doctors can’t predict time of death, so how can they aid in suicide

Dr. Neil S. Kaye is a practicing psychiatrist and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and member of the advisory board of the  National Alliance for Mental Illness-Delaware. …Physicians are terrible at predicting death. At six months out, fewer than 33% of predictions end up being correct. HB 140, the medical aid in dying bill, relies

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Doctors urge lawmakers not to pass assisted suicide bill

  More than 100 doctors and health care professionals from around Massachusetts signed onto an open letter urging state lawmakers to sink proposed bills that would open the door to allowing doctors to prescribe lethal doses of chemicals for terminally ill patients… “As physicians and healthcare professionals, we embrace a culture where ALL people receive

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Preventing suicide: The time is now

In the ten years that Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) has conducted annual surveys, veteran suicide has always topped the list as the most pressing issue in the membership community. This week, IAVA released our 10th annual member survey, and the results are troubling: veteran suicide numbers continue to rise as the overall

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Staffing a Barrier to Palliative Care Growth

While the number of hospices and other organizations providing palliative care continues to expand nationwide, staffing shortages represent a barrier that threatens to slow this growth. The United States has 13.35 hospice and palliative care specialists for every 100,000 adults 65 and older, according to an April 2018 study. The research estimated that by 2040

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Assisted suicide legislation is again under consideration in Maryland

  Battle lines are drawn with an even number of people who support and oppose the bill. Unlike in previous years, there’s a public, full-court press by the opposition. “Assisted suicide is dangerous public policy. When suicide becomes a medical treatment, it injects government pressure and profit-driven insurance decisions into everyone’s end-of-life care,” said Kristen

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The ramifications of legalizing suicide

It has come to my attention that our Legislature will be soon voting on a bill (HB 1659) to make assisted suicide legal here in New Hampshire. As someone who has worked in the mental health field for decades, I am gravely concerned about this. In my career, I have personally witnessed many people with

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Hippocratic or hypocritical? The problem with doctor-assisted suicide

As Maryland lawmakers prepare to hold public hearings on whether the state should join nine others that allow terminally-ill patients to choose physician-assisted suicide, it begs a serious question with no easy answer: Is suicide wrong? Granted, the question of the humanity of physician-assisted suicide is a complicated one. For those who have completed Applied

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