Assisted suicide bill rejected in ConnecticutAssisted Suicide
Assisted suicide has been rejected in Connecticut for the tenth time, after a close vote by senators on the State General Assembly's judiciary committee.
In the run-up to the vote yesterday, disability groups were some of the most vocal opponents of the practice, which they argue "diminishes choice", and compounds disability discrimination.
Stephen Mendolsohn, of the disability rights group Second Thoughts Connecticut, warned, "offering suicide prevention to most people while offering suicide assistance to an ever-widening subset of disabled people is lethal disability discrimination".
He added that no wording in legislation could "change the problem of misdiagnosis or the unreliability of terminal prognosis", citing people who have "outlived ostensibly terminal prognoses by decades" and become "staunch opponents of assisted suicide".
And he stressed that nothing in legislation could prevent patients suffering "prolonged and agonizing deaths from the experimental lethal drug cocktails" used in assisted suicide, saying: "Medical science cannot guarantee the peaceful death proponents claim."
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA also strongly opposed the plans. A letter sent to members of Connecticut's Public Health Committee, which originally supported the bill, warned that:
- The Bill allows Assisted Suicide with elastic and meaningless “safeguards.”
- Assisted Suicide is not about pain or receiving a peaceful death; both are myths.
- Assisted Suicide spawns more suicides and attempted suicides.
- Insurance companies use Assisted Suicide to deny coverage for curative life-saving treatments.
In the UK, private member's proposals designed to legalise assisted suicide are currently being considered in both the House of Lords and the Scottish Parliament.
Baroness Meacher's 'Assisted Dying Bill' has reached Committee Stage in the Lords. It is thought the Bill will not reach the statute book given a lack of cross-party and government support.
A bill by Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur is expected at Holyrood in the coming months. A consultation on draft proposals closed at the end of last year and received a high volume of responses.
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