It was announced this week that the bill–HB 2233–that would legalize doctor-prescribed death here in the Commonwealth will be heard before the Joint Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 6th. While proponents have been successful in gathering the signatures to place the bill on the ballot this November, the Legislature is by law given the right to act on their own before the issue goes to the voters.
In typical fashion, the Committee will hear testimony on a total of FIFTY-FIVE bills that day, including the assisted-suicide bill and a bill to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. MFI will be at this hearing to testify against both of these bills, but especially the doctor-prescribed death.
Our opponents on this issue would love the Legislature to take action first so that they can avoid a costly and difficult campaign to approve it on the ballot this November. They will be there in force on Tuesday, March 6, so we need you to be there as well. The hearing will take place in Hearing Room A-2 at 1:00 p.m.
Earlier this month, I read a story out of the Netherlands that their Right-to-Die Association will soon be offering a private euthanasia “clinic” that offers door-to-door service. In other words, if your regular doctor won’t help you die, this “suicide van” will come to your home to do the deed. The Netherlands have practiced euthanasia for decades, with the law explicitly permitting it since 2002.
The cliche “slippery slope” is used far too often these days. However, when talking about the culture of death, there is no doubt that there is a progression and a “chipping away” at the moral and ethical norms. While doctor-prescribed death laws start out with very strict limits on implementation, these regulations will be relaxed over time. This is a fact. Again, just look at the Netherlands that now allow parents to have their newborn babies euthanized if they have deformities. Advocates will not stop with the current language; they will continue to fight until nearly anyone can order a death prescription.
Even in the Netherlands, a place where the medical profession has shown itself to be broadly accepting of euthanasia, the Federation of Dutch Physicians is beginning to see the problems: “In the worst cases, people could die who perhaps could have received some other type of help.”
Next week, we will provide you with some detailed Talking Points on this issue that you can use in your communications with legislators. We will also provide you with the necessary links and contact information to let your state representative and state senator know that you oppose HB 2233 and the accompanying ballot initiative. And we encourage you to come and testify at the State House on March 6th.
For our families,
For those of you who weren’t able to join us live on Tuesday night, we had the author of the MFI Book Club selection Live