Wednesday, October 15, 2008
We don't want assisted suicide to be legal and encouraged
Initiative I-1000 would make assisted suicide legal. And Oregon's experience tells us that the state would, first, encourage people to use it, then later would almost require it. Old people cost money. In Oregon the state has to balance its budget, but old people are costing a lot of money. So Oregon is denying care to older people and kindly informing them that they can use assisted suicide. But you say the state is not forcing people to commit suicide. But it is by denying them care. But cost is not my main problem. Committing suicide is playing God, literally. No one should be encouraged to end their life before their time. Making it legal surely encourages this crime against God. Coalition Against Assisted Suicide: I-1000 lacks real protection for people suffering from depression and mental illness. People who are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness often become depressed. This depression is usually temporary and treatable. I-1000 does not require assessment or treatment for depression. [I-1000, Section 6]. Because the waiting period is only 15 days, a suicidal "cry for help" could be met with a bottle of lethal drugs, instead of encouragement and treatment. I-1000 harms spouses and families. Under I-1000, a spouse or family member need not be told about the lethal overdose. [I-1000, Section 8]. Families might never know the truth of how their loved one died. I-1000 endangers vulnerable people. I-1000's backers promote it as being about choice and individualized decision making. But as written, I-1000 does not empower patients. It provides an incentive for health plans to cut costs by steering people toward assisted suicide. I-1000 does not provide adequate safeguards to protect women, minorities, seniors and people with low incomes. What's wrong with Oregon's law? Since Oregon passed its law in 1994, physician-assisted suicide and/or euthanasia proposals have been introduced in 21 states, some multiple times. Not one has passed. In Oregon, the state health plan pays for assisted suicide but doesn't pay for some chemotherapy for people with cancer. I-1000 is similar to -- but more expansive than -- Oregon's problem-filled assisted suicide law. Why I-1000 is more dangerous than Oregon's law. I-1000 is written more broadly than Oregon’s law, has less accountability, more secrecy, and contains significantly less protection for everyone except a small group of pro- assisted suicide doctors and bureaucrats.