Another State, Minnesota, Rejects Assisted Suicide

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Yet another state has rightly decided that the real concerns about physician assisted suicide are simply too significant to ignore.

This time, Minnesota has decided to table the legislative debate on the subject.  The hearing for this legislation, like so many around the country, brought the full weight of those concerns to bear, and it was too much for the proponents of the bill to simply dodge.

A common theme is emerging in this debate: this may seem in theory like a modest proposal to some, but the reality of legal assisted suicide is much more troubling. 

That theme is exactly what we want to highlight today, in a well-timed op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, titled “Assisted suicide: An idea that loses appeal as it becomes tangible”.

That title says it all, but the piece is one of the best yet for capturing that critical need to actually explore, understand, and reckon with the full scope of assisted suicide…and how that often leads folks to say “no thanks.”

From the piece:

“The truth about assisted suicide is that it 1) takes time to understand and that it 2) turns political stereotypes on their head.  Let’s go back to June 2012, five months before the elections that year. Massachusetts has assisted suicide on the ballot. Polls indicate “overwhelming support” in that liberal state: 68 percent support legalizing it, while 19 percent favor its remaining illegal…In a mere five months, the liberal case defeated assisted suicide.”

The writer goes on to explore why we see a shift away from support upon careful review, time and time again.  The whole piece is truly excellent.  This piece not only lays out our core reservations about assisted suicide, it also provides thoughtful analysis of how these bills come up, and how they are rightly brought down.

We need to maintain an eye toward exploring the full extent of any policy’s consequences, and that is certainly true with assisted suicide, literally a matter of life and death.

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