Monday, April 27, 2015

Vermont: “Repeal the Sunset” Bill Moves Out of Committee

From True Dignity Vermont

April 24, 2015 by Administrators, To view original post, click here.

The House Human Services Committee this afternoon voted to approve S.108, the bill that calls for the repeal of the “sunset provision” in Act 39 (not to be confused with a wholesale repeal of Act 39). It is expected that the bill will be debated on the House floor next week, possibly Wednesday.

“Repealing the sunset” would mean that the law will retain the few so-called protections that were included in the original bill that was passed and became law in 2013. Without a repeal of the sunset, these minimal protections, which primarily relate to the procedure around obtaining a prescription, are scheduled to go away in July 2016.  As Guy Page testified last week on behalf of the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, “Without the sunset, Act 39 gets an ‘F’.  With it, it rates an ‘F-minus’.  A distinction without a difference.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nurse Admits Killing Patients to Ease Her Workload

By John Hall for MailOnline

A former nurse in the Czech Republic has admitted murdering six of her elderly patients with massive doses of potassium in order to ease her workload.

Vera Maresova, 50, confessed to killing five women and one man over a four-year period at a hospital in Rumburk - a small town in the north of the country.

Dubbed 'Nurse Death' by local media, Maresova was initially arrested over the death of a 70-year-old woman last August, but has now admitted killing five more people between 2010 and 2014 following a police investigation.

According to the prosecution, Maresova injected the potassium straight into the blood stream of her six elderly patients, which caused them to suffer heart failure and eventually death.

All of her victims were already in the intensive care unit at the hospital and it is believed Maresova thought their deaths would simply be attributed to natural causes.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Alaska: Memo Against HB 99

HB 99 seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Alaska.

The sponsor says that the bill applies to terminally ill patients with an “inevitable and certain death.” Eligible persons, however, may have years, even decades, to live. The bill is, regardless, a recipe for elder abuse, especially for people with money.

Other problems include: steerage to suicide by health care providers; trauma to patients; trauma to family members; and the risk of suicide contagion.

To view a detailed memo arguing against HB 99, please click here. To view the attachments, please click here.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

Choice is an Illusion has a New Website!

The website's purpose is to fight SB 128, which seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in California.  To view the new website, please click here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

California: Vote NO on SB 128

To read a legal/policy analysis against SB 128, please click here.  To view supporting documentation,  please click here.

Key points include:

People "eligible" for assisted suicide/euthanasia may have years, even decades, to live, i.e., if they don't die of assisted suicide/euthanasia under SB 128.  The bill encourages people with years to live to throw away their lives.

The thrust of SB 128 is to protect doctors and other participants in a patient's death, including family members.  This is done in three ways:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Montana: Vote "Yes" on HB 477!

HB 477 will reverse Baxter and send a clear message that medical killings are prohibited and against public policy.  Individuals will be protected from the medical establishment, individual doctors and family members with something to gain.

A.  Involuntary Medical Killings.

Throughout the US, there are increasing reports of involuntary medical killings.[1] Consider a 2012 case against Kaiser Healthcare. Doctors killed the patient, a wealthy older man, through a “terminal extubation.” His daughters had allegedly urged this result in order to obtain large inheritances.[2]  In Montana, examples include Dr. James Mungas, who was killed under the guise of hospice/palliative care.  His widow, Carol Mungas, states:
It is traumatic, still, to realize his last communications were attempts to get help.[3]
B.  Likely Problems

Baxter has created confusion in the law and has emboldened some doctors and family members to publicly admit participation in assisted suicides.  If HB 477 is not enacted, this situation will likely lead to defacto legality and the following problems:

    1.  New paths of elder abuse, especially for people with money.

Legal assisted suicide creates new paths of elder abuse. Consider, for example, the Thomas Middleton case, where legal physician-assisted suicide in Oregon was part of a financial elder abuse fraud.

    2.  Steerage to suicide.

It is well documented that Oregon's Medicaid program steers patients to suicide (suicide is covered in lieu of treatments for cure or to extend life).  Private health plans and providers have this same ability. To learn more, see this affidavit by Oregon doctor, Kenneth Stevens, MD.

    3.  Pressure on patients. 

See this letter by Marlene Deakins, RN, describing the pressure put on her brother after he merely asked a question about assisted suicide in Washington State. 

    4.  More conventional suicides, including violent suicides.

In Oregon, conventional suicides, including violent suicides, have substantially increased with legalization of assisted suicide. This is consistent with a suicide contagion.  The financial cost of these suicides is "enormous."  For more information, click here.

    5.  Pressure to expand to non-terminal people.

In Washington state, there have been "trial balloon" proposals to expand its law to non-terminal people, including those who have simply fallen on hard times. See e.g., this column in the Seattle Times, suggesting euthanasia for people without money for their old age.  

C.  Contact Your Legislators.

Contact your legislators and urge them to vote "YES" on HB 477.

* * *
[1]  Peter Whoriskey, "As More Hospices Enroll Patients who Aren't Dying, Questions About Lethal Doses Arise," The Washington Post, August 21, 2014. 
[2] William Dotinga, “Grim Complaint Against Kaiser Hospital,” Feb. 6, 2012.
[3] Carol Mungas, at 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Montana: HB 477 PASSES the House!

Yesterday, HB 477, which overrules Montana/s Baxter decision by clarifying that physician-assisted suicide is against public policy and prohibited, passed Montana's House of Representatives.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Elderly Murder-Suicide: Should We Praise Old Men Who Kill Their Wives and Themselves?

"A man who murders his sick, innocent, helpless wife is no hero."

By Elizabeth Marquardt
On Thursday, March 29, the bodies of Adrienne and Charles Snelling were found. Police believe Charles killed Adrienne -- her exact cause of death is still pending -- and then shot himself. Only last December, Charles Snelling published in the New York Times a poignant and widely-circulated piece about loving and caring for his wife with Alzheimer's disease. (Columnist David Brooks, whose query for life stories initiated Snelling's piece, wrote in his column yesterday about this case.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Montana one step closer to reversing Baxter.

Today, the Montana House of Representatives voted to pass HB 477, which clarifies that "physician-assisted suicide" is prohibited and against public policy in Montana.  

To view HB 477, please click here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Washington State: SB 5919 passes Senate!

SB 5919, clarifying that patients who request assisted suicide have the right to be told about options for cure or to extend life, has PASSED the Senate!  The vote was a bipartisan, 34-14, with one member excused.  To see the vote breakdown, click here .

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Utah: Problems with H.B. 391

By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

H.B. 391 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Utah.  I am a lawyer in Washington State where we have a similar law.  Our law is based on a law in Oregon.

Problems include:

1.  HB 391, if enacted, will encourage people with years to live to throw away their lives.

HB 391 seeks to legalize assisted suicide for persons with a "terminal disease," which is defined as having less than six months to live.  In Oregon's law, which uses the same definition, young adults with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, are "eligible" for assisted suicide.  Such persons can have years, even decades, to live.  See   "Eligible" patients can also have years to live because doctors can be wrong.  See and