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.

Alternative of palliative sedation

Anyone dying in discomfort that is not otherwise relievable may legally receive palliative sedation.  The patient is sedated to the point where the discomfort is relieved while the dying process ...
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Social Divide

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 and ...
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Disability Prejudice

In a recent national survey of practicing US physicians, “82.4 percent reported that people with significant disability have worse quality of life than nondisabled people. . . . [T]hese findings ...
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Not pain, but distress about disability

The Oregon reports show the first five “end-of-life concerns” deal with not pain, but “existential distress” over the disabling aspects of serious illness, from depending on others for care to ...
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Insurer Control

Real “choice” belongs to insurers, who can deny prescribed treatments at will, even if lifesaving. In Oregon, you can qualify as “terminal" if you can’t afford your treatment, or if ...
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Persuasion -> Abuse

It is estimated that 1 in 10 Massachusetts older adults are abused every yEveryone is vulnerable to suggestion and persuasion. Nothing prevents self-interested family members and medical professionals from pushing ...
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Misdiagnosis

Studies show that 12%-15% of people entering hospice with a terminal diagnosis outlive their prognosis. In 23 years in Oregon, 1900 people have been prescribed lethal drugs, but the survival ...
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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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Racial Disparities

Medical prejudice and neglect results in racial disparities in diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, cancer, and heart trouble. COVID-19 has killed Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) at a ...
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Depression

Assisted suicide laws lead to the denial of suicide prevention services to seriously ill and disabled people, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s guarantee of equal program access ...
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