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True Dignity Vermont is a grassroots, independent, citizen-led initiative in opposition to assisted suicide in Vermont. Vermonters deserve true dignity and compassion at the end of life, not the abandonment of assisted suicide. Killing is not compassion, and True Dignity Vermont will work to ensure our end-of-life choices respect the dignity of all Vermont citizens.
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An Excellent Article about the American Civil Liberties Union’s campaign to get people to sue doctors, pharmacies and their workers, and medical facilities that refuse to provide assisted suicide services or referrals.
There’s some good stuff in here. We may be posting some of these comments on their own in the next few days. The bad effects of assisted suicide will be the same everywhere.
Tanni Grey-Thompson is a former wheelchair racer and now a member of Britain’s House of Lords, which today, after more than nine hours of debate, voted to allow a bill to legalize assisted suicide to receive a second reading, a reading that took place immediately after the vote. This means that the bill has taken an important and scary step towards becoming law. It could soon be debated and voted on by “a committee of the whole house”. Several members who are opposed decided not to vote against the bill today, because they it believe should be discussed more extensively, which will happen in the next phase. If the bill were to become law, it would need to be approved for a third reading, after which a final vote would be taken. The bill would then have to go through these phases and be voted on in the House of Commons, the elected branch of the British Parliament. Members on both sides of the issue want to make their case for or against the bill, which we can still hope will be defeated.
During the debate, people with disabilities, members of Not Dead Yet UK, demonstrated outside Parliament. Lady Grey-Thompson came out to speak to them, and someone filmed the following video. In it, she speaks with great precision about why most people with disabilities fear and oppose legal assisted suicide. Already demoralized by hearing from many people, medical professionals included, in both verbal and non-verbal ways, that a life with disabilities is a life not worth living, they fear that future conversations will progress from suggestions that they might want to decline medical care for easily treatable conditions to suggestions that they might want a prescription for suicide.
Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson Speaks to People with Disabilities Demonstrating Outside As Britain’s House of Lords Debates Legalizing Assisted Suicide
The link below contains an article about Dutch ethicist Theo Boer’s testimony against legalization of assisted suicide/euthanasia before the British House of Lords. At the end you can find the testimony itself.
Dr. Boer points out that, in the Netherlands:
1. With euthanasia deaths and assisted suicides increasing at a rate of 15% annually, “euthanasia is on the way to become a ‘default’ mode of dying for cancer patients”.
2. Traveling euthanasia doctors kill patients after seeing them an average of only 3 times.
3. Advocates “will not rest until a lethal pill is made available to anyone over 70 years who wishes to die”.
4. Suffering has been re-defined to include aging, bereavement, and loneliness.
5. A new law aims to force doctors unwilling to prescribe or administer lethal doses of drugs to refer patients to willing doctors.
6. Pressure from relatives and the desire not to burden them are “in some cases.., important factor(s) behind a euthanasia request.”
7. Not even the review committees” (established by the law to protect patients) “have been able to halt these developments”.
This blogpost from Paul Russell addresses Australia’s most recent euthanasia-related controversy:
Russell states that tolerance of any suicide sends a very mixed message such that, “Suicide should be prevented, except, perhaps, you know, when you’re really ill or dying; or maybe when you’re very old; or maybe when disability makes your life really difficult. But once we create these kind of implicit exceptions we also tolerate a double standard… We’re effectively saying to the old, the sick, the disabled etc. that they’re somehow less worthy of life than the troubled teen.”