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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

My letter to the editor of The Forecaster response to Physician Assisted Suicide

My letter to the editor in the June 1, 2015 The Forecaster

http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/2015/06/01/letter-asssited-suicide-bad-public-policy/234562

Of all the varied subjects I blog on about, the only one where I have any authority and public policy experience is when writing about physician assisted sucide.

Nevertheless, physician assisted suicide is an issue where people push back, without regard to my expert advice. It's absolutely mystifiying how people are emotionally supportive of this very bad public policy. Since virtually no one who successfully accessed physician assisted suicide has returned to let us know how it worked for them, it seems stupid to me that anybody would want to immerse in this not researched practice.

I was asked to keep this letter to a 250 word minimum because, obviously, there was a lot more I could've written.  

Letter: Assisted suicide is bad public policy
Monday, June 1, 2015 at 9:11 am

Marian McCue's Capitol Notebook column about physician-assisted suicide ("Lawmakers weigh 'Death with Dignity' bill") did not provide balance to the subject. Moreover, the article was published in the same issue with a report about a parade marking the Memorial Day holiday, to tribute our veterans.

Tragically, 22 veterans a day are dying as a result of suicide. There is no death with dignity for the young veterans who are dying as a result of suicide.

In the proposed legislation, the bill would allow for the legal compounding of poisonous drugs for the purpose of ending a person's life. This prescription would be legal if a medical opinion is rendered that a person is facing an end-of-life diagnosis with a short life expectancy.

McCue quotes a proponent of the law as saying, "What business is it of the state to deny my right to choose?"

Well, here’s the truth. It's not the state that will compound the poisonous chemicals. Neither will the state be asked to create a prescription for the purpose of ordering the poisonous compounds from a mail-order compounding facility. In fact, the state won't deliver the poisons, either.

Rather, hospice and palliative care are the alternatives to physician-assisted suicide. Also, policies for protecting the mentally ill and the disabled from potential coercion were not clearly explained.

We justifiably mourn the premature loss of our veterans, while, at the same time, consider legalizing the slippery slope for a dangerous public policy.

Juliana L’Heureux
Topsham

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