Nation’s Largest Volunteer-Based Organization for Latino Civil Rights Pushes Back Against Assisted Suicide

Boston, MA. September 7, 2021 – Today, the Massachusetts chapter of LULAC, the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization for Latinos, issued the following statement asking members of the Massachusetts legislature to join them in strong opposition to assisted suicide and the two bills under consideration, S.1384 and H.2381.

“We strongly oppose both bills being considered by the Massachusetts legislature that would legalize assisted suicide. Our opposition to assisted suicide legislation is rooted in our commitment to expanding access to quality healthcare and fighting for equal human dignity, both of which are under attack in these bills.

“Assisted suicide is inherently discriminatory. Now, more than ever, Latinos face incredible challenges accessing healthcare and the pandemic has exacerbated these inequalities on a grand scale. This bill fails to take into account both the explicit and implicit bias, discrimination, and racism that permeate our healthcare system. The lack of protections for culturally and linguistically diverse communities, especially given the lack of Latino representation in the medical profession is deeply troubling.

“The patient protections that proponents of this legislation tout are ineffectual and unenforceable. The lack of mental health assessment and the lack of witness declaration are stunning omissions. There aren’t even protections against elder abuse. You cannot say you care about health and leave out even these most basic patient protections.

“At the end of the day, assisted suicide puts everyone, especially the most vulnerable, at risk of lethal harm and creates a system where disparities and inequities in healthcare are magnified for people with disabilities and people of color.”

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