John Kelly’s Testimony Against Massachusetts Assisted Suicide Bill HR 1194

September 26, 2017

My name is John Robinson and I am here to read the testimony of John Kelly, the director of Second Thoughts Massachusetts. Here it is:

Chairs Lewis and Hogan, Members of the Committee,

After Californian Stephanie Packer was denied prescribed treatment, she was told $1.20 would be her assisted suicide co-pay. $1.20

Yesterday, disability advocates from ADAPT were dragged out of a congressional hearing chanting No Cuts to Medicaid. Save Our Liberty. Recently, our own governor contracted for $90 million with Optum – a profit-maximizing corporation already accused of fraud – to take over MassHealth benefits for many old, ill, and disabled people.

Cost-cutting is in the news. Given this reality, assisted suicide takes choices away.

It’s no choice when every year, doctors misdiagnose 12 million people and thousands “graduate” from their six-month hospice benefit.

Ted Kennedy was told he had 2-4 months to live. He lived an extra year. John Norton of Florence testified in 2012 that when he was diagnosed with ALS, he would have used assisted suicide if he could. Luckily, assisted suicide was not legal, his disease process stopped, and he’s urging people to reject these bills – 60 years later.

With so much lethally incorrect information, we cannot speak of “choice.”

It’s no choice when:

One out of every 10 elders in Massachusetts is abused every year, almost always by adult children and caregivers.

When no official witness is required at the death and an heir can help sign you up, pick up the prescribed overdose, and then take action against you with guaranteed immunity.

When disabled people get told, straight to our face, at the hospital, and in the movies, that we are better off dead. Remember, seriously ill people become disabled.

When depressed people – and teenagers – learn that “feeling like a burden” is a rational reason to kill yourself.

When the only other choice is a nursing home – after being put in a nursing home, my grandmother committed suicide.

With legalized assisted suicide, innocent people will lose their lives, through misdiagnosis, the bottom line, suicidal despair, and abuse.

Please, continue to reject these bills, now and forever.

Thank you.