Saturday, February 28, 2015

Massachusetts: High School Student Charged with Manslaughter for Encouraging Suicide

BY JIM HAND SUN CHRONICLE STAFF | Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 1:00 am
PLAINVILLE  A King Philip Regional High School senior has been indicted for involuntary manslaughter, allegedly for urging a friend to commit suicide. She then raised money for mental illness in the name of her friend.
Michelle Carter, 18, of Plainville was indicted as a “youthful offender” by a Bristol County grand jury, and was arraigned in New Bedford Juvenile Court.
She is accused of urging Conrad Roy III, 18, of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett to kill himself, which he did while idling a truck last July in the parking lot of a Fairhaven Kmart. Authorities said he died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Washington State: SB 5919 on the move!

Last night, SB 5919, which clarifies that a person considering assisted suicide has the right to be told of options for cure or to extend life, has passed out of the Law & Justice Committee.

The vote was bipartisan.  The seven member committee voted as follows:  6 "do pass" and 1 "without recommendation."  See here

Marlene Deakins, RN, Supporting SB 5919

"I hope that  with the proposed bill, doctors will get the message that they need to back off , to make sure that patients are freely choosing what’s best for them, as chosen by them."

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Dear Senator Padden, Members of the Law and Justice Committee and Senator Angel:

I am a Registered Nurse.  I am writing this letter in support of SB 5919, which would make it clear that persons asking about assisted suicide remain eligible to be told about options for cure or to extend life.  I hope that this law will provide protection for people like my brother, Wes Olfert, who died a few years ago (2011) in Washington State.

When he was first admitted to the hospital, he made the mistake of asking about assisted suicide.  I say a mistake, because this set off a chain of events that interfered with his care and caused him unnecessary stress in what turned out to be the last months of his life.

By asking the question, he was given a "palliative care" consult by a doctor who heavily and continually pressured him to give up on treatment before he was ready to do so.  It got so bad that Wes became fearful of this doctor and asked me and a friend to not leave him alone with her.

I hope that  with the proposed bill, doctors will get the message that they need to back off, to make sure that patients are freely choosing what’s best for them, as chosen by them.

Please vote “yes” on SB 5919

Marlene Deakins, RN
Tuscon Arizona

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Senator Jan Angel, Supporting SB 5919

This bill . . . is about choice and common sense. Patients should know all their options before having to make a life-or-death decision.

The bill does not impose any limitations on a person's ability to choose what is best for him or her. It could even be called a technical amendment as it just expands the list of information that is provided to patients before they make their decision.

Kenneth Stevens, MD, supporting SB 5919.

My name is Dr. Kenneth Stevens. I live in Sherwood, Oregon. I'm testifying in favor of Senate Bill 5919, which amends Washington's Death with Dignity Act.

I'm a cancer doctor in Oregon, where we've had the similar act since 1997. I'm also a professor emeritus at Oregon Health and Science University. I previously served as Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. I have treated thousands of patients with cancer.

Jeanette Hall
I practice in both Washington state as well as Oregon. I've read the proposed bill, which amends Washington's act to make it clear that patients who request a lethal dose under the act have the right to be told of treatment options for cure and to extend life.

I strongly support this bill, especially due to my experience with a patient named Jeanette Hall. The Oregon and Washington acts apply to patients predicted to have less than six months to live.  This does not necessarily mean that the patients are dying. This is true for two reasons:

WA State: Vote "YES" on SB 5919.

This is a simple bill, which clarifies that patients considering assisted suicide have a right to be told of their options for cure or to extend life. Passing the bill will be consistent with how Washington's assisted suicide act was marketed to the voters, as providing choice for patients. I urge you to vote "Yes.”
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Below please find my updated memo supporting SB 5919, currently pending in the Washington State Senate. To see a print version, please click here.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA