Monday, February 23, 2015

Stand Up to Stop PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE

Stand Up to Stop PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE! Dear Parishioners HB 1021 (Physician Assisted Suicide) has been introduced in Annapolis this session. Two of our local delegates are co-sponsoring the bill. Concerns about this bad bill include: • Undue Influence and Pressure to End a Person’s Life: A person is at their most vulnerable when they receive a terminal diagnosis. Doctors are looked at as trusted advisors. If a doctor is offering suicide as a “medical treatment,” how many patients will feel a subtle, if not overt pressure to end their lives rather than to continue treatment? What if a family member is tired of taking care of the sick person and pressuring the patient to take their life? It’s impossible to prevent undue influence in the privacy of a doctor’s office or in the home. • Wrong Terminal Diagnosis: The legislation relies on a person getting a “terminal” diagnosis. However, given that a terminal diagnosis is often inaccurate, how many patients might decide to end their lives prematurely? The person could have spent months or even years together with loved ones. • No Required Psychological Evaluation: Study after study shows people experiencing a drastic change in their medical conditions suffer from depression. Yet the legislation carries no requirement that a patient who requests a prescription to commit suicide be properly evaluated to determine if they are depressed. The truly compassionate response to patients nearing the end of their lives is to offer them proper pain management and palliative care, the comforting presence of family and friends, and the assurance that their lives are valued. • No Witnesses: The bill does not require anyone to witness the person ingesting the drugs. This leaves the door wide open for coercion and even murder. District 28 (Charles County) Delegates Sally Jameson and C. T. Wilson have signed on as co-sponsors. Please contact them to express your displeasure with their co-sponsoring the bill and ask them to reconsider their co-sponsorship. When you contact your elected officials please be polite and to the point. Del Sally Jameson: Room 231House Office Building, 6 Bladen Street Annapolis, MD 20401 (410) 841-3337 or (301) 858-3337 sally.jameson@house.state.md.us Del C. T. Wilson: Room 422, House Office Building, 6 Bladen Street Annapolis, MD 20401 (410) 841-3325 or (301) 858-3325 ct.wilson@house.state.md.us See Maryland Catholic Conference website for more information.

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