News and Views

News, information and opinions from Massachusetts disability rights advocates.

Statement against S.1384 by John B. Kelly

Opponents for legalized assisted suicide held a virtual legislative briefing on Tuesday, May 10, which prompted news outlets to seek a statement from Second Thoughts director John Kelly. Download John Kelly's statement against S.1384, or scroll down to read. Over the last 15 years, the Mass legislature and, in 2012, the people of the state, have wisely rejected the legalization of assisted suicide as too dangerous. The legislature should likewise reject S1384, which despite its name does not provide dying people "end-of-life options." The tragic reality is that under legalized assisted suicide, some people's lives will be ended without their ...
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MA Legislators Shouldn’t Take the “Bait and Switch” on Assisted Suicide

Download this new information from the Patients Rights Action Fund (No Suicide MA.pdf) to use when talking to legislators and constituents. Assisted suicide proponents in Massachusetts are using bait to convince legislators to pass S.1384/H. 2381 to legalize assisted suicide by claiming there are sufficient “safeguards” to protect patients from coercion and abuse. But, once the bait is taken and the law is passed, proponents switch to stripping away the “safeguards” just a few years later.
  • A challenge filed in federal court in California would eliminate the requirement that the lethal drugs be self-administered which would result in euthanasia. With ...
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Shavelson v. California Department of Health Care Services

DREDF Opposes Elimination of Fundamental Protections in California’s End of Life Options Act "In a pending legal case, Shavelson v. California Department of Health Care Services, a terminally ill plaintiff contends the self-administration requirement of California’s End of Life Options Act (ELOA) violates existing anti-discrimination laws on the basis of disability. While the plaintiff is eligible for physician assisted suicide and has the ability to self-administer lethal medication at present, they’d prefer to utilize the option later in the dying process, when self-administration is no longer possible. The lawsuit seeks to pressure California into eliminating the state’s most essential safeguard ...
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Action Needed on S 1384!

Friday, March 25, 2022 The assisted suicide bill, S.1384 (An Act relative to end of life options), moved to the Health Care Financing Committee yesterday.   The clock now starts ticking with the committee having 30 days to process the bill.   However, as we know, the deadline can be extended.   If there is no extension and no action by the committee, the bill is dead in 30 days. Please contact Health Care Financing Committee members to urge them to vote against the bill.   We are working on individual meetings with the Chairs and members.  Committee members are found here:   https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/J24 ...
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Is “Death with Dignity” Really Possible?

November 30, 2021 by Ronald W. Pies, MD for the Psychiatric Times. "Has this slogan crowded out the importance of life with dignity?" ..."over the past several decades, death with dignity has become a kind of battle cry. Owing to the lobbying and proselytizing efforts of groups promoting physician-assisted suicide—euphemistically called, “medical aid in dying”—the phrase, death with dignity, has become nearly synonymous with the deliberate ingestion of lethal drugs, prescribed for people with terminal illnesses.2 In the marketplace of ideas, other modes of dignity in dying—and more importantly, in living—have been crowded out." ...
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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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