Delaware NDY’s Daniese McMullin-Powell: Testimony Against Assisted Suicide Bill

Photo: Red-haired woman sitting in wheelchair with legs crossed, holding leash with service dog sitting next to her.

House Health and Human Development Committee  
June 7, 2017
Daniese McMullin-Powell, Delaware Not Dead Yet
OPPOSE HB 160, End of Life Options

Doctors will be prescribing barbiturates with instructions to ingest 100 pills on an empty stomach to cause your death by overdose, and then, falsify your death certificate.

Diagnoses of terminal illness is too often wrong, leading some to give up on treatment and lose good months or years of their lives.  A pro suicide group will become your best friend to help you Doctor shop for a second opinion or even a first one if you want. Less than 5% will receive counseling.

A woman I helped get out of a facility came to live with me. She had less than 6 months to live, so had hospice services. She moved to her own apartment 7 months later. She still lives in Wilmington 15 years later. Cheap physician assisted suicide wasn’t available.

My Mom and Dad were both on hospice.  My Father exceeded his expiration date by a few months. He had good meds to control pain. When he passed, my Mom moved in with me.  She remained on hospice for another year or so. She even went on vacation twice to Florida. She passed away in my home 8 days after baking cookies and having a wonderful Xmas with all the great grand kids. If this poison was available in 2011 she may not have had those last good times. She always thought she was a burden… she was not.

Pain seems to be overrated as a reason to die sooner than later. In a 2015 report from Oregon, the top reasons for PAS are loss of ability to do things you enjoy, loss of autonomy and dignity, loss of control of body functions and dependence on others and… feeling to be a burden, all disability issues like some of us face every day. Down the line, pain or fear of pain is listed as a reason.

Society underrates quality of life for people with disabilities. Will we have suicide prevention or suicide assistance?

Calling this a choice or a right is false. It is the state and doctors that will determine who is eligible to die.  Besides we have always had choice, suicide is not illegal in the United States and there are many methods.

Insurance companies, including Medicaid in Oregon, have indeed denied expensive treatments for some, yet offer to cover cheaper assisted suicide.

There is a potential for abuse or coercion. Not all relatives, friends and caregivers have loving concern, and who would know?  All the so called safe guards are hollow and not enforceable.

There are no resources or authority to investigate assisted suicide cases in Oregon.  Hence, “there are no problems in Oregon.”

Vote NO to HB 160, so we can sleep at night and have a peaceful summer

Note: The Delaware house will vote as early as this week on HB 160. Delaware residents can find their legislators here.

2 thoughts on “Delaware NDY’s Daniese McMullin-Powell: Testimony Against Assisted Suicide Bill

  1. No one should ever be talked into Assisted Dying.

    It must be the decision of the individual; preferably after many discussions with family, close friends, doctors, clergy and other respected people.

    All of Anita Cameron’s five reasons why people want doctor prescribed suicide should be seriously considered. However, the final [but revocable] decision MUST be that of the uncoerced individual.

    In My Humble Opinion

    1. But assisted suicide laws don’t, and realistically can’t, protect against coercion and abuse of many kinds. We live in a society in which one in ten elders are abused, mostly by family, behind closed doors. We live in a society in which massive cuts to health care have passed Congress and are on the table in the Senate.

      There’s a deadly mix between our broken, profit-driven health care system and legalizing assisted suicide, which will be the cheapest so-called treatment. Direct coercion is not even necessary. If insurers deny, or even merely delay, expensive live-saving treatment, the person will be steered toward assisted suicide. Will insurers do the right thing, or the cheap thing?

      Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup, Oregonians with cancer, were both informed by the Oregon Health Plan that the Plan wouldn’t pay for their chemotherapy, but would pay for their assisted suicide. Though called a free choice, for these patients, assisted suicide would have been a phony form of freedom.

      Elder abuse, and abuse of people with disabilities, are a rising problem. Where assisted suicide is legal, an heir (someone who stands to inherit from the patient) 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?

      Thomas Middleton was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, moved into the home of Tami Sawyer in July 2008, and died by assisted suicide later that very month. Two days after Thomas Middleton died, Sawyer listed his property for sale and deposited $90,000 into her own account. After a federal investigation into real estate fraud, Sawyer was indicted for first-degree criminal mistreatment and aggravated theft. But the Oregon state agency responsible for the assisted suicide law took no action.

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