“What Latinos Should Know About Assisted Suicide”

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In an op-ed published in the U.S. News & World Report recently, Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie explores how physician-assisted suicide laws put Latinos disproportionally at-risk. As an example, Dr. Christie cites a recent example of a California woman who is denied life-saving treatment and instead is offered assisted suicide by her insurer.

Dr. Pozo’s arguments are troubling, but it’s not the first time we’ve read about such concerns. We recently examined whether PAS is discriminatory in our blog post “Does Physician-Assisted Suicide Further Discriminate Against African-Americans?

Both articles serve to highlight one of the biggest problems with the physician-assisted suicide bill in Maryland: there are no adequate safeguards in place to protect vulnerable populations. For example: the bill states that a patient must self-administer the lethal prescription, but there is no requirement for a witness to be present; the bill attempts to protect people from greedy heirs, but it still allows one of the two people required to witness the patient’s request for PAS be included in the will; and, perhaps most troubling, the bill does nothing to prohibit  insurance companies from denying life-saving treatments in favor of the lower-cost option of physician-assisted suicide.

As we approach 2017 and the reintroduction of legislation that seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Maryland, we encourage you to Know the Facts about why this bill is so dangerous.

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