Massachusetts: Assisted Suicide Bill Timing "Wrong"
To view full press release on Not Dead Yet, click here.
Second Thoughts Massachusetts issues the following statement in opposition to the favorable report given by the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health to Bill S. 2745, legislation that would legalize assisted suicide in Massachusetts.
Assisted suicide legislation sends a message of ‘better dead than disabled’ while completely immunizing doctors, heirs, and caregivers who can encourage or even engineer a person’s death without fear of prosecution,” said Second Thoughts Director John B. Kelly.
“It is wrong to move a bill at a time when those who will be harmed are on lockdown due to COVID-19, depriving us of the opportunity to fully address in person this threat to our health and well-being,” Kelly continued.
Five months ago, Suffolk Superior court Judge Mary K. Ames in Kligler, et al. v. Healey, et al. ruled against any state constitutional right for assisted suicide, holding that at the point of a patient ingesting the lethal drugs, they would be vulnerable to improper persuasion.
“The Massachusetts legislature should heed this warning by the court. If assisted suicide is legal, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through insurance denials, mistakes, and abuse. No safeguards have ever been enacted, or even proposed, that can prevent this outcome which can never be undone once it is put into effect,” Kelly concluded.
Second Thoughts Massachusetts is a group of disability rights advocates opposed to the legalization of assisted suicide. We testified against the bill S.1208 at the hearing in June of 2019 and held a well-attended legislative briefing a few days after. It is the state affiliate of Not Dead Yet, the national grassroots group opposed to assisted suicide and life and death discrimination against disabled people.