Compassion & Choices: Now Encouraging Suicide in Colorado

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Remember the tagline of those old Hair Club for Men advertisements, “I’m not just the president of Hair Club for Men, I’m also a client!”? We were reminded of those cheesy 80’s TV commercials when we saw this story out of Colorado last week: Proponents of successful medical aid-in-dying initiative push ahead with implementation. After Compassion & Choices spent “at least $5.4 million” to pass physician-assisted suicide legislation via initiative petition, they are now turning to the implementation of the law, which to them means convincing as many people as possible to commit suicide under the auspice of “death with dignity.” The article states it best:

“Compassion and Choices has launched an outreach effort to educate Coloradans and the medical and pharmaceutical communities on the new law. The group is unrolling a bilingual education campaign. The Colorado Hospital Association is helping with those efforts.

“We’re undertaking this massive outreach effort and we created these resources so that no terminally ill adult has to suffer needlessly in Colorado,” West said, underscoring the importance of the Colorado Access outreach effort.

Patients can find request forms at the Compassion and Choices Colorado website, and the organization is also offering an “end-of-life consultation program,” in which patients can speak with consultants about end-of-life care.

Proponents recommend that interested, qualified patients begin speaking with their doctors immediately.”

Compassion & Choices doesn’t just advocate for passage of physician-assisted suicide bills, they also encourage people to kill themselves. For C&C, it’s not enough for people to have the option; everyone who “qualifies” should have easy and quick access to a lethal prescription. And if patients can’t figure it out, C&C will ‘consult’ them. This means C&C will find people a doctor willing to write a lethal prescription and a pharmacy that stocks the lethal pills.

This callous, pro-suicide “outreach effort” is even more galling because it’s just one more example of Compassion & Choices misleading legislators about the true impact of PAS, or “Death with Dignity”, legislation. C&C often claims in testimony and in the media that people should not worry about PAS bills because of the limited number of people who use PAS each year in states where it is legal. They argue this is an implicit safeguard to abuse. Yet, even before PAS is legal in Colorado, C&C is working to drive up the number of people who will use PAS, and making sure they can find a doctor and pharmacy to be complicit.

There is a very fine line between providing information about PAS and encouraging people to commit suicide. Based on the information in this article, it sure seems to us that Compassion & Choices is doing the latter.

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