News and Views

News, information and opinions from Massachusetts disability rights advocates.

H2381 – Poole Testimony Oct 1, 2021

Download Poole Testimony H2381 2021-10-01.pdf or read below. My name is Ruthie Poole, and I am the president of M-POWER, a statewide group made up of people with lived experience of mental health diagnosis, trauma, and addiction. As people with psychiatric disabilities, M-POWER members feel passionately about the right to self-determination. However, that is not what this bill is about. It is not uncommon for people with disabilities and elders who may not be physically well to feel like they’re a burden on their families. Prescribing doctors in Oregon last year reported that more than half of program suicides felt ...
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H2381 – Daly Testimony Oct 1, 2021

Download Daly Testimony H2381 2021-10-01.pdf or read below. Eighteen months ago, if you'd asked me if I supported a doctor assisted suicide bill I would have answered, sure, why not, choice is good. And I would have believed that I could control whether I opt in or not.  Since then, I’ve put two and two together and found that an assisted suicide bill does not add up to a choice I can live with. In fact, if the bill is passed, and the trend continues, the odds of my dying prematurely and without my consent are surprisingly high. My disability ...
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H2381 – Cameron Testimony Oct 1, 2021

Download Cameron Testimony H2381 2021-10-01.pdf or read below. I’m Anita Cameron, Director of Minority Outreach for Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights organization opposed to medical discrimination, healthcare rationing, euthanasia and doctor assisted suicide.

H.2381/S.1384 is dangerous because though these laws are supposed to be for people with six months or less to live, doctors are sometimes wrong about a terminal diagnosis. My mother, while living in Washington state, was determined to be at the end stage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I was told her death was imminent, that if I wanted to see her alive, I should get ...
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H2381 – Leigh Testimony Oct 1, 2021

Download Leigh Testimony H2381 2021-10-01.pdf or read below. When I first heard about this type of legislation, I was all for it. It seemed like an option that I would want for myself or loved ones. But as I studied this issue, the more I learned, the more I realized that there were just too many inequities and risks to vulnerable people. I developed second thoughts. I urge all of you to keep an open mind and really look, look hard at the facts of assisted suicide. I am sure that you want MA policies to work in the best ...
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H2381 – Kelly Testimony Oct 1, 2021

Download Kelly Testimony H2381 2021-10-01.pdf or read below. Thank you. Everyone knows that doctors make mistakes, and studies show that 12 to 15 percent of people outlive the six-month hospice benefit for supposedly terminal people. But this year Oregon revealed that only 4 percent of its program participants have lived past six months. This suggests that a substantial number, up to one in 10!, ended their lives prematurely because they trusted their terminal diagnosis. For someone who barely escaped a terminal MISdiagnosis with their life, see the 2011 Boston Globe letter by Jeanette Hall. No one would tolerate any other ...
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Globe – Push for assisted suicide raises questions over disability rights

Please read John Kelly's printed letter to the Boston Globe in response to other letters. You can: John Kelly letter to the Boston globe Push for assisted suicide raises questions over disability rights September 7, 2021 In response to an essay on the Victorian fantasy of a peaceful death, two letter writers (“Beyond the fantasy of a gentle death,” Aug. 29) called on the state Legislature to pass the proposed assisted suicide bill. Paula Bacon and Molly DeHaas Walsh describe the circumstances ...
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MA Bills Filed

March 2021: Identical House and Senate bills have been filed to legalize physician assisted suicide. The status of the bills are that they have been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health. The bills already have a significant number of legislator supporters. Conventional wisdom says that not much will happen until after the budget is complete, however, everyone is encouraged to share your opposition with your legislators early and often! An Act relative to end of life options Please read the entire bill, which include many more sections than shown below. For instance, do you agree with Section 14(e): ...
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