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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Reasons that Assisted-Suicide Should not be Legalized.

1.  Legal Assisted Suicide Encourages People with Years to Live to Throw Away Their Lives.

In the US, assisted suicide is generally being proposed for terminally ill people.  In this context, the phrase, "terminally ill," includes many people who aren't dying or even close to death. Examples include a healthy 18 year old diabetic, who is dependent on insulin, and my friend, Jeanette Hall, who was talked out of assisted suicide fourteen years ago. See http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/schrempp_wonderly_opn_ltr1.pdf and http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/nj-a2270-legal-analysis_001.pdf

Consider also, John Norton, who was diagnosed with ALS. He was told that he would get progressively worse (be paralyzed) and die in three to five years.  Instead, the disease progression stopped on its own.  In a 20l2 affidavit, at age 74, he states:
If assisted suicide or euthanasia had been available to me in the 1950's, I would have missed the bulk of my life and my life yet to come.
http://www.massagainstassistedsuicide.org/2012/09/john-norton-cautionary-tale.html

2.  Assisted Suicide Laws are Stacked Against the Patient.

Assisted suicide laws, for example, in Oregon and Washington, are stacked against the patient  This is because their ultimate purpose is to allow other people to encourage a patient towards suicide, or to kill the patient, i.e., without their getting into trouble.

In Oregon and Washington, the most obvious problem for the patient, is a complete lack of oversight when the lethal dose is administered. Not even a witness is required.  Even if the patient struggled, who would know?  See e.g., https://www.kcba.org/newsevents/barbulletin/BView.aspx?Month=05&Year=2009&AID=article5.htm

As for Montana, assisted suicide is not legal and subject to ongoing litigation in that state's Supreme Court.  See e.g. https://maasdocuments.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/bradley-c-c-missoulian-as-published.pdf and http://www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/2014/02/maas-appeals-medical-examiner-board.html

3.  Assisting Persons, including Institutions, can have their own Agendas.

The recent Melchert-Dinkel case shows a reality that people tend to forget, that with legal or illegal assisted suicide, the assisting person can have an  agenda.  For Melchert-Dinkel, his agenda was the "thrill of the chase."

In a recent Montana case, the defendant's agenda was to prevent a 15 year old girl from testifying against him.  Similar to Melchert-Dinkel, he allegedly got her on a webcam.  But, instead of talking about hanging, he allegedly pushed her to slash her wrists and take prescription pills.  Fortunately, according to charging documents, she got scared and sought help from her parents.  See http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/convicted-rapist-charged-with-aiding-or-soliciting-suicide-of-victim/article_65c2f39c-ae01-5104-a279-da45b352ef42.html

Meanwhile, in Oregon, that state's Medicaid program has a well-documented agenda to steer patients to suicide via coverage incentives.  Similarly, the former Hemlock Society, Compassion & Choices, has an agenda for a public policy change, to reduce patient access to cures.  See http://www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/2014/08/bradley-williams-takes-on-compassion.html and http://www.choiceillusion.org/2014/09/bradley-williams-uses-coombs-lees-own.html

Family members and other people can have an agenda in the inheritance context, for example, to get rid of mom before she changes her will.  See http://www.choiceillusion.org/2014/02/preventing-abuse-and-exploitation.html and http://www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/2013/03/physician-assisted-suicide-part-of.html

Don't be fooled.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P.S.
Choice is an Illusion, a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation
www.margaretdore.com
www.choiceillusion.org
1001 4th Avenue, 44th Floor
Seattle, WA  98154
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