Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Carolyn McMurray:"Not everyone has family members to protect them."

Dear Assemblymembers:

My husband and I recently moved from Vermont because we fear growing old in a state with legal assisted suicide.

Will Johnston, MD: "[My] young adult patient became actively suicidal after watching a Brittany Maynard video.”

Dear Assemblymembers:

I am a doctor whose young adult patient became actively suicidal after watching a  Brittany Maynard video.

I urge you to vote against legalizing assisted suicide so as to not encourage other young adults to seek this path.  

In the first week of December 2014, a mother brought in her twenty year old son for an emergency appointment.  She had told me that he had been acting oddly and talking about death.

Oregon Doctor Kenneth Stevens: "Vote against ABX2-15, in order to save people’s lives.”

Dear Assemblymembers:

I have been a cancer doctor in Oregon for 49 years.  I am opposed to legalized assisted suicide.

It encourages people to prematurely throw away their lives. The California bill ABX-15 is modeled after the Oregon law. It applies to people predicted to have less than six months to live.  That does not necessarily mean that they are dying.

Fifteen years ago I had a patient with inoperable anal cancer who wanted assisted suicide for herself, and who was refusing radiation and chemotherapy.  Because she was refusing treatment she was eligible for assisted suicide.  I encouraged her to be treated, which she later agreed to, and now she is very alive and happy 15 years later.

Dore: "Legal assisted-suicide can be traumatic for patients and tear families apart”

Dear Assemblymembers:

I am a lawyer in Washington State where assisted-suicide is legal. Our law is similar to a law in Oregon. Both laws are similar to ABX2-15, scheduled for hearing tomorrow.

I had two clients whose fathers signed up for assisted-suicide. In the first case, one side of the family wanted the father to take the lethal dose, while the other did not. The father spent the last months of his life caught in the middle and traumatized over whether or not he should kill himself. My client, his adult daughter, was also traumatized. The father did not take the lethal dose and died a natural death.

In the other case, it's not clear that administration of the lethal dose was voluntary. A man who was present told my client that the client’s father refused to take the lethal dose when it was delivered (“You’re not killing me. I’m going to bed”), but then he took it the next night when he was high on alcohol.

Legal assisted-suicide can be traumatic for patients and tear families apart.

Kate Kelly: “Doctors are already abusing the power they have."

Dear Assemblymembers:

Please vote "No"on ABX2-15 (assisted suicide/euthanasia). Doctors are already abusing the power they have.  This bill, which will give doctors even more power to medically kill patients, can only make a bad situation worse.

In 2009, my mother died after a young doctor encouraged my brother, who held power of attorney, to begin “comfort care.”  My mother, who was NOT DYING, had had a mild stroke.  She had been trying to speak and had indicated that she would like some water.  Instead, on the order of this doctor, she was medically killed  (starved and dehydrated, with massive doses of morphine).

In that same year, I published my mother’s story . Since then, I have been contacted by other adult children in the US and Canada whose parents were  involuntarily killed via starvation, dehydration and overdose..

These involuntary deaths of people who were not dying are not isolated incidents.

Elizabeth Poiana to California Assembly: "“Older people are no longer valued.”

Dear Assemblymembers:

I am a college student in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal.

My mother is a caregiver.  I also  work as a caregiver for typically older people.

I am writing to tell you about how older people are now at risk in Washington State, from doctors and hospitals. I will also talk about how attitudes about older people have changed for the worse.  This is especially true since our assisted-suicide law was passed in 2008.