VOTE NO ON A2451/S2474
A letter to the NJ Senate
It has come to my attention
that the NJ Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act A2451/S2474, aka the NJ
Physician Assisted Suicide Bill may be voted on this Monday, March 13 (2017).
I've done some research and
below is a synopsis and links to the sources.
Please note that my research clearly paints a very chilling picture of
the potential for abuse. Insurance
companies denying treatment yet offering to cover suicide, presumably because
they will pay out less in the long run. Then
there's the daughter who coaches her mother during a psychiatric evaluation...
Barbara Wagner's doctor prescribed a drug that would likely extend her life and
would make her more comfortable, her state
insurance program refused to authorize payment for it. Instead, it sent
her a letter saying it would pay for doctor-prescribed suicide.
Drugs Cause Uproar in Oregon"
(ABC News - August 6, 2008)
The news from Barbara Wagner's doctor was bad, but the rejection letter from her
insurance company was crushing... What the Oregon Health Plan did agree to
cover, however, were drugs for a physician-assisted death.
Stroup who had prostate cancer was also offered doctor-prescribed suicide by the
Oregon Health Plan.
Offers Terminal Patients Doctor-Assisted Suicide Instead of Medical Care"
terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were
denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted
suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a "chilling"
corruption of medical ethics.
suicide: A family struggles with the question of whether mom is capable of
choosing to die"
(Oregon Live - February 4, 2015)
Originally published in the Oregonian in 1999, Oregon Live republished the
article on February 4, 2015.
It appeared that dementia was setting in. And her daughter's assertiveness about getting the
lethal dose for her mother made the psychiatrist wonder whose agenda this really
There is no single method for evaluating a dying person's competence to commit assisted suicide or to gauge undue influence.
Oregon's law says the person must be able to make and communicate health care
decisions and be aware of his or her medical condition, the risks of using a
lethal dose and the feasible alternatives. A psychological disorder -
senility, for example - does not necessarily disqualify a person.
uncontrolled pain is often seen as sufficient justification for legalized
assisted suicide, relatively few people even
mentioned it. The
three main reasons were "less
able to engage in activities making life enjoyable"
(92%); and "loss
(75%). "Inadequate pain control or concern about it" was
mentioned by 28.7% but the statistics do not indicate how many actually had
actually experienced unrelieved pain. Statistics about the dying process are
very skimpy. Brittany Maynard, who must be among the 132 people in Oregon's figures, died quickly and peacefully, surrounded by her family and friends.
But it is not at all clear whether or not this is typical. For
about 80% of the 132 deaths there is no information on how long it took or
whether there were difficulties. In 2015, there is information on only
27 deaths; in 4 of these there were complications such as regurgitation or
seizures. It took patients between 5 minutes and 34 hours (sic, hours) to die - but there are figures only for 25 patients. In past years, it has taken
up to 104 hours (ie, more than 4 days) to die. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/oregon-releases-its-2015-death-with-dignity-stats/11761#sthash.JzeJTOB8.dpuf
are trained to preserve life.
professionals are trained to view thoughts of suicide as symptoms of a
problem in need of treatment.
's law turned all that on its head... "Some scholars scoff at the
notion that a person could make any decision - - let alone the decision
to die - without being influenced by others and say
that such a standard is not a valid reason
to deny them that choice."
I find these statements to be
With these concerns, I urge you
to vote NO and to encourage your colleagues to seriously explore the dangers of
THE POLL! SHOULD NJ OK PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE?