Assisted suicide bill should be rejected
I am concerned about proposed legislation to license doctors to aid suicide for some people, "Medical, Catholic groups oppose bill to allow suicide drug prescriptions," (Feb. 24). Laws against assisted suicide have protected vulnerable people from taking their lives in the face of depression, despair and discrimination. It also protects people against malpractice and greedy heirs. In Oregon, Barbara Wagner received a letter from her insurer that they would pay for her assisted suicide but not her cancer drugs.
Assisted suicide is a cheap way for insurers to avoid expensive treatments. Statistics from Oregon show that the top reasons for a deadly prescription is fear of losing autonomy (91.5 percent), of being less able to engage in activities (88.7 percent) and loss of dignity (79.3 percent). These are all fears about becoming dependent on others; that is not a good enough reason to fundamentally alter the physician/patient relationship.
An out-of-state organization has spent over $425,000 to agitate for assisted suicide in Connecticut. I urge our legislators to do the right thing and continue to try to help people by increasing early access to hospice care, mandatory training for pain management for doctors and increased funding for home care, and stay out of the suicide business.
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