PAS Legislation Continues to Falter in States Around the Country
Across the United States, opposition to physician-assisted suicide continues to grow. More than 20 states have defeated PAS legislation and now members of our federal government, the courts, and the medical community are all speaking out against the dangerous practice. These victories are proof that our voices are being heard. Elected officials and other leaders are coming to a very stark realization: Physician-assisted suicide is wrong and should not be legalized. We Marylanders have known this for a long time, but we are not alone.
In total, 27 states – from Hawaii to Rhode Island – have rejected PAS legislation. Disapproval continues to grow among Federal officials as well. A bipartisan Congressional resolution that condemns the practice was recently proposed and is gaining support. And we have seen concern about PAS in recent court rulings, like the one delivered by the New York State Court of Appeals last month.
Our medical community has also stood up against PAS. The American Medical Association remains adamantly opposed to the practice, and patients’ rights groups remain concerned that insurance companies will view patient’s lives with only a financial bottom line in mind. Patients’ rights advocate Kristen Hanson had powerful words when highlighting how insurance companies may use physician-assisted suicide to decide who lives or dies:
“These are profit-driven businesses,” she said. “Are they going to do the right thing, or the cheap thing?”
Maryland got it right when for three years in a row we stopped legislation that would have legalized the dangerous, predatory practice of physician-assisted suicide. A clear message is being sent from legislators, the federal government, the healthcare community, and from patients themselves that physician-assisted suicide should not be legalized.