The Mass. Legislature must say ‘no’ to assisted suicide
Image description: fead and shoulders photo of while man with short hair and glasses, with a sip-and-puff wheelchair control near his chin.
IN A COMPLETE ABOUT-FACE, in early December, the Massachusetts Medical Society gave state legislators the nod to enact dangerous public policy that puts my life and the lives of thousands of others in Massachusetts at risk. The medical society rescinded its longstanding opposition to assisted suicide, commonly held with the American Medical Association, that assisted suicide “would ultimately cause more harm than good” and is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.”
The bill, despite its promise of “end-of-life options,” ultimately takes choice away from people. Because assisted suicide would immediately become the cheapest “treatment” offered, it would encourage insurers to reject traditionally covered treatments. That’s already happening in states where assisted suicide is legal.
Dr. Brian Callister, a Nevada physician, reported earlier this year that two patients were denied routine treatments with 70 percent cure rates by their respective California and Oregon insurance companies, which offered coverage for assisted suicide instead. And again, once assisted suicide became legal in California, Stephanie Packer, a young mother with scleroderma, was denied her prescribed treatment but learned that her assisted suicide copay would be $1.20.
To read the John Kelly’s full article, go here.