Proponents Arrogantly Dismiss Concerns at the Latest Workgroup Hearing

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Our focus in these blog posts is to clarify false claims made by proponents of the assisted suicide bill before the Death with Dignity Workgroup.  We want you to take this information and be prepared to combat the misinformation used by physician assisted suicide proponents who will stop at nothing to get this passed.

As we approached last week’s latest Maryland General Assembly Workgroup hearing, we knew that California’s signing into law of the newest assisted suicide legislation would raise the confidence level of proponents.  We were not prepared for the borderline arrogance within the proponent testimony, and the outlandish claims made.

The overzealousness of the supporters who testified at this latest hearing was shocking.

In response to a question about the potential to require mental health evaluations, Ann Jackson, a noted assisted suicide advocate from Oregon who feigns neutrality in her testimony, was very blunt: “people who are depressed are not disqualified [from physician assisted suicide],” and further stated that “people who are dying are obviously sad.”  Ms. Jackson stated this as if the question was not even worth noting.  We would like to note that Oregon data shows only 3 people – or 2.7% – who requested physician assisted suicide in 2014, underwent a mental health evaluation.  This is not a significant concern if you talk to the proponents, despite the fact that we know better.

As is now becoming increasingly clear, the proponents of this legislation are trying to speed through the vetting process, and they would rather avoid discussing the inconveniently hard data and realities showing why this would be a mistake.

We cannot allow any perceived momentum for assisted suicide to distort the truth of dangers within this policy.  Our efforts and our education will force the General Assembly to pause and give serious thought to this bill.

(This is a continuation of our series on the Death with Dignity Workgroup.  You can watch the entire Workgroup hearing at this link from the MD General Assembly)



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