Saturday, September 1, 2012

Elder Abuse is not a Trend that Anyone Should Follow

Bradley Williams to the New England Journal of Medicine:

Your article, "Redefining Physicians’ Role in Assisted Dying," is based on two false premises, that legalizing physician-assisted suicide is a trend, and that the only thing stopping this trend is opposition by the medical establishment and physicians. Hence, the article proposes removing physicians from the process by putting a government bureaucracy in charge of assisted suicides. Talk about 1984 and Big Brother watching you.

The article omits that Idaho, Louisiana and Georgia recently strengthened their laws against assisted-suicide.[1] The article also omits that the Attorney General of Hawaii recently issued a opinion against assisted-suicide.[2] The article wrongly implies that a court case in my state, Montana, legalized assisted-suicide. That case merely gives doctors a potential defense to a homicide charge.[3][4]

There are just two states where assisted suicide is legal, Oregon and Washington. In these states, legalization has created new paths of elder abuse.[5] This is not a "trend" that anyone should follow.

To learn more about problems with legal assisted-suicide, see: www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org

Bradley D. Williams
Coordinator
Montanans Against Assisted Suicide &
For Living with Dignity

www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org
610 North 1st St., Suite 5-285
Hamilton, MT 59840

bradley@montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org

* * *
[1] Margaret Dore, "US Overview," "‘Choice’ is an Illusion," July 30, 2012, available at http://www.choiceillusion.org/p/us-overview.html (regarding Idaho, Louisiana and Georgia and linking to source documentation)
[2] Id. (regarding Hawaii)
[3] Greg Jackson & Matt Bowman, "Analysis of Implications of the Baxter Case on Potential Criminal Liability," Montanans Against Assisted Suicide & For Living with Dignity, April 2010, available at http://montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Analysis-of-Baxter.pdf
[4] Senator Jim Shockley and Margaret Dore, "No, physician-assisted suicide is not legal in Montana: It's a recipe for elder abuse and more," The Montana Lawyer, November 2011 (1 of 2 pro-con articles featured in the issue’s cover story) , available at http://www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/p/montana-lawyer-article.html
[5] Id.