Why Massachusetts Should Reject Assisted Suicide

If Massachusetts legalizes assisted suicide, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through insurance denials, mistakes and all the various forms of coercion and abuse.  No safeguards have ever been enacted, or even proposed, that can prevent this outcome which can never be undone.

Insurance Denial

Real “choice” belongs to insurers, whose business model is to delay or deny prescribed treatments, even if lifesaving. In Oregon, people can then be considered “terminal,” likewise if they can’t ...
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Abuse

It is estimated that 1 in 10 Massachusetts older adults are abused every year, and quarantining under COVID-19 has only made the situation worse. Many people associate nursing homes with ...
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Misdiagnosis and Mistaken Prognosis

Misdiagnosis and mistaken prognosis yearly puts 6 million Americans at risk of severe harm. S.2745/H.4782 could make that harm even more lethal. Thousands of Americans “graduate” hospice every year, ...
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Medical Prejudice

The doctors who decide who is eligible for assisted suicide are the same doctors who have been promoting Crisis Standards of Care that in an emergency would deny ventilators or ...
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Race, Ethnicity and Social Class

As the voting results from Ballot Question 2 in 2012 show, assisted suicide pits wealthier, whiter districts against those with poorer people and people of color. For long-standing reasons, Black ...
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Depression

Massachusetts shouldn’t be telling depressed and suicidal people that suicide is a good solution to suffering. At its recent annual suicide prevention meeting, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health had ...
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Disability

The end of life concerns reported in Oregon and elsewhere all have to do with negative reactions to disability: distress and shame over dependence on others, lost abilities, loss of ...
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Outside Influence is Unavoidable

In her New Year’s Eve 2019 ruling against a state constitutional right to die, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Mary K. Ames summed up some of the stresses that might hurry ...
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