Second Thoughts MassachusettsWe are Massachusetts residents with disabilities who oppose the legalization of assisted suicide, and any support for the death of disabled people. We organized in 2012 to help defeat Massachusetts assisted suicide referendum Question 2, and have continued the fight against assisted suicide throughout New England.
NOT DEAD YET COLORADO KILLS ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL!
Bipartisan Committee Vote Sinks Bill 8-5
Great news out of Colorado, where after 11 hours of testimony on Friday,the Public Health Committee rejected the assisted suicide bill.
Anita Cameron is quoted:
"Doctors often make mistakes on whether someone is terminal or not," she said, adding that her mother was told six years ago that she had just six months to live.
Anita, Carrie Ann Lucas, and everyone at Not Dead Yet Colorado issued a statement in the Colorado Independent against assisted suicide that is irrefutable.
In judging that an assisted suicide request is rational, essentially, doctors are concluding that a person’s physical disabilities and dependence on others for everyday needs are sufficient grounds to treat them completely differently than they would treat a physically able-bodied suicidal person.
In New Jersey, no vote took place on February 5, meaning that the votes are still not there for Senate President Steve Sweeney to get his way.
Let's contact senators who may be persuadable to vote against the bill. A few are leaning our way, let's try to bring them all to our side!
Please send a short email using one of our talking points (listed below) important to you. Here are the key Democratic and Republican senators to contact:
Joseph Vitale – Public Health Committee Chair said he would vote no on the floor but released the bill from committee; has recently indicated he may vote yes.
Robert Gordon – Majority Conference Leader, said would vote no on the floor, but voted yes to release it.
Loretta Weinberg – Majority Leader, testified that the bill should wait.
Senator Barnes is a certain NO vote but he should receive emails etc to encourage him to speak up in the democratic caucus.
Nia Gill – President Pro Tempore
James Beach – Assistant Majority Leader
Linda Greenstein – Assistant Majority Leader .
M. Teresa Ruiz – Assistant Majority Leader
Paul Sarlo – Deputy Majority Leader
Sandra Cunningham – majority whip
Senator Van Drew, Nilsa Cruz Perez, Nellie Pou, Nicholas Sacco, Bob Smith, and Brian Stack
TALKING POINTS –ASSISTED SUICIDE IS BAD MEDICINE
If this bill passes, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse. No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone. – Marilyn Golden
- Deadly Mix: Assisted suicide is a deadly mix with our profit-driven healthcare system. At $300, assisted suicide will be the cheapest treatment. Assisted suicide saves insurance companies money.
- Abuse: Abuse of people with disabilities, and elder abuse, are rising. An heir or abusive caregiver may steer someone towards assisted suicide, witness the request, pick up the lethal dose, and even give the drug -- no witnesses are required at the death, so who would know?
- Mistakes: Diagnoses of terminal illness are too often wrong, leading people to give up on treatment and lose good years of their lives.
- Careless: No psychological evaluation is required. People with a history of depression and suicide attempts have received the lethal drugs.
- Burden: Financial and emotional pressures can also make people choose death.
- Unnecessary: Everyone already has the right to refuse treatment and get full palliative care, including, if dying in pain, pain-relieving palliative sedation.
- No true safeguards: The safeguards are hollow, with no enforcement or investigation authority.
- Our quality of life underrated: Society often underrates people with disabilities’ quality of life. Will doctors & nurses fully explore our concerns and fight for our full lives? Will we get suicide prevention or suicide assistance?
For a comprehensive guide on presenting the disability rights argument against assisted suicide for progressives, please read and download the Legislative Primer.
For the latest reporting on our efforts against assisted suicide, visit the Not Dead Yet webpage section "In the News"
More frequent updates at Not Dead Yet and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
On Twitter, please follow the national grassroots group Not Dead Yet,the broad New Jersey coalition of disability rights, healthcare, civil rights, and faith-based groups the New Jersey Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide, New Jersey disability rights leader Norman A. Smith, and the nationally-active Second Thoughts Connecticut and Second Thoughts Massachusetts
Important past stories on Second Thoughts / Question 2
- Ben Matlin has an op-ed in the New York Times of November 1 entitled
- Dr. Kerry Pound in the Salem News, physician's perspective
- Boston Phoenix article Killing with Kindness by S.I. Rosenbaum
- Second Thoughts steering committee member Eileen Feldman in the Somerville Journal.
- No to Question 2, editorial in the Providence Journal editorial by Second Thoughts.
- Victoria Reggie Kennedy's article opposing Question 2 entitled "We are better than that" reprinted widely throughout Massachusetts.
- Rep. Angelo Scaccia, D-Readville, vice chair of Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse Opposes assisted suicide
- American Nurses Association draft statement opposing assisted suicide
- Green-Rainbow party local leader Grace Ross examines the carelessness of Question 2 with lethal drugs in this article
- Letter Against Question 2, advocating suicide prevention .
- Extensive coverage on Boston Public Radio Station WBUR:
John Kelly versus Marcia Angell Part I on Radio Boston
John Kelly versus Marcia Angell,Part II on Morning Edition with Bob Oakes