Thursday, February 2, 2017

Washington DC Press Release


Dore: “The DC assisted suicide Act is stacked against the individual.”

Dore: "The Act has national and international security implications, which trump DC home rule.”

For a pdf version, click here.

Contact: Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

(206) 697-1217

Washington, DC – Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, which has fought assisted suicide and euthanasia legalization efforts throughout the United States, and now in the United States Congress, made the following statement in connection with today’s mark up of H. J. Resolution 27 in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The resolution seeks to prevent a DC law (Act 21-577) from coming into effect.

Dore said, "The Act is a deceptively written law, that legalizes physician-assisted suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia as those terms are traditionally defined."  Dore added, "The Act applies to persons who have years or decades to live. The Act has national and international security implications."

Dore said, "The Act is sold as assuring individual choice and control. The Act is instead stacked against the patient and a recipe for elder abuse.” Dore elaborated, “The patient's heir, who will financially benefit from the death, is allowed to actively participate in requesting the lethal dose. After that, no doctor, not even a witness, is required to be present at the death. Even if the patient struggled, who would know?”

“But, it gets worse,” said Dore, “the death certificate is required to list a medical condition as the cause of death, which prevents prosecution.” Dore explained, “The official cause of death is a medical condition (not murder) as a matter of law. Dore added, "For perpetrators, the death certificate is a ‘stay out of jail free card.’”

Dore said, “The DC Act is based on a similar law in Oregon, which is interpreted to bar law enforcement from accessing information about the persons who died under Oregon's Act. The DC Act has stronger language, which can be read as barring access to information under ‘any law.’ The Act, § 17, states:
The information collected by the Department [of Health] pursuant to this act . . . may not be made available for inspection . . . under the Freedom of Information Act . . ., or any other law.  (Emphasis added).
"With this language," said Dore, “the DC Department of Health will be beyond review, not only by law enforcement, but arguably by the courts and political authority.” Dore added, “And we’re talking about killing people.”

“Similarly,” said Dore, “purported oversight by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is a sham.” Dore explained, “The Act provides for review of each death by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. There is, however, no mechanism for that office to know when "each death" occurs.”

Dore stated, “If Act 21-577 is not rejected by the pending resolution, the Act will legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia for people who are ‘terminal,’ which is defined as a doctor’s prediction of less than six months to live. In real life, such persons may have years or decades to live.”

“Doctors can be wrong about life expectancy, sometimes way wrong," said Dore. "This is due to actual mistakes and the fact that predicting life expectancy is not an exact science. A few years ago, I was met at the airport by a man who at age 18 had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and given 3 to 5 years to live, at which time he would die by paralysis. His diagnosis had been confirmed by the Mayo Clinic. When he met me at the airport, he was 74 years old. The disease progression had stopped on its own.”

Finally, Dore stated, “The Act applies to a person who ‘resides’ in the District of Columbia, which includes members of Congress and the President of the United States. Foreign government nationals such as ambassadors also reside in the District of Columbia. With this circumstance, political motivations, both here and abroad, could come into play with the prospect of a perfect crime in which even law enforcement is blocked from obtaining information. The Act has national and international security implications, which trump DC home rule. The Act must be rejected.”

For more information, see:

• Margaret Dore, “Why DC Act 21-577 Must Be Rejected,” Choice is an Illusion, DC.

• Margaret Dore, Memorandum to Members of Congress and the President of the United States:  Reject DC Act 21-577, Choice is an Illusion, DC.