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Monday, 05 October 2015 16:37

SF Examiner - Assisted suicide should be vetoed by Frank Lee

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sf examiner

By  on October 4, 2015

Everybody should urge Governor Brown to veto ABX2-15, “Physician Assisted Suicide.” It is the license to kill and pernicious to everybody, especially seniors, handicapped and poor families. Almost all medical groups, patients’ organizations and religious organizations are against this bill.

It will make it much easier for hospitals and insurance companies to demand patients to agree to be killed. Why have people been using much resource to push this bill through the years? There is major profit motive behind it. Hospitals, insurance companies and pension plans will be able to evade their responsibilities to us. Once we accept assisted suicide, eventually not only patients with terminal illness will be allowed or be told to have physician assisted suicide. A 24 year-old lady in the Netherlands, without serious illness, was allowed to be put to death in August!

ABX2-15 is modeled after the Oregon law, of which “terminal” patients include young adults with chronic conditions such as insulin-dependent diabetes and chronic lower respiratory disease. Such patients, with appropriate medical care, can live for years or even decades. It used to be that some patients with five-year life expectancy were not able to obtain insurance payments for medical treatment, but a pill to die. Does California want to follow the terrible footsteps of Oregon?

The California health care system already gives insurance companies, hospitals and doctors tremendous power over ordinary patients who do not even have adequate recourse in wrongful death cases. According to a health committee in California Assembly, ABX2-15 will give doctors even more power with “blanket immunity … even in instances where their actions are grossly negligent.”

American Medical Association, World Health Organization, American College of Physicians and the American Cancer Society all oppose ABX2-15. According to American Medical Association, this type of bill is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control and would pose serious societal risk.

Predicting life expectancy is not an exact science, and misdiagnosis often happens. With this bill, human errors can readily cost lives.

Scientific breakthroughs in medical treatment and medication continue to occur. Patients should not give up easily.

ABX2-15 does not provide an adequate cool-off period. Basically, only two oral notices 15 days apart and a written notice from the patient are needed. Only two doctors are needed to approve on assisted suicide and the two of them can belong to the same business entity. If the patient chooses to die, even immediate family members will not be notified.

Moreover, the heir of an elder can actively participate in signing him/her up for the lethal dose. Once the lethal dose is issued by the pharmacy, there is no oversight. Not even a witness is required when the lethal dose is administered. If the patient struggled, who would know?

This is indeed a life-or-death situation for Californians! Definitely urge the Governor to veto ABX2-15:

Frank Lee is president of the Organization for Justice and Equality.

Source: The San Francisco Examiner

Last modified on Monday, 05 October 2015 20:01

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We Oppose Assisted Suicide

  • Access to Independence – San Diego
  • American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today – Northern California (ADAPT)
  • American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today – Southern California (ADAPT)
  • Alliance of Catholic Healthcare
  • American Academy of Medical Ethics (AAME)
  • American College of Physicians – American Society of Internal Medicine
  • American College of Pediatricians
  • American Medical Association
  • American Nursing Association
  • Association of Northern California Oncologists (ANCO)
  • Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
  • Berkeley Commission on Disability
  • California Catholic Conference
  • California Chapter of TASH (CalTASH)
  • California Disability Alliance (CDA)
  • California Family Alliance
  • California Family Council
  • California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)
  • California Latino Medical Association
  • California Nurses for Ethical Standards (CNES)
  • California ProLife Council
  • California Right to Life Education Fund
  • California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Californians for Disability Rights (CDR)
  • Catholics for the Common Good
  • Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID)
  • Christian Medical and Dental Association
  • Coalition for Concerned Medical Professionals
  • Communities Actively Living Independents and Free (CALIF)
  • Crusade for Life
  • De La Salle Institute
  • Disability Rights Center
  • Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
  • Disability Rights Enforcement Education Services (DREES)
  • Disability Section of the American Public Health Association
  • FREED, Center for Independent Living
  • Hispanics for Life
  • Independent Living Center of Southern California (ILCSC)
  • Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco (ILRCSF)
  • Independent Living Services of Northern California (ILSNC)
  • International Life Services
  • Joni and Friends
  • Justice for All (JFA)
  • La Raza Roundtable of Santa Clara County
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • Life Priority Network
  • Life Legal Defense Foundation
  • Medical Oncology Association of Southern California (MOASC)
  • National Council on Disability
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
  • National Spinal Cord Injury Association
  • Not Dead Yet – California Chapter
  • Not Dead Yet (NDY)
  • Oakland Mayors Commission on Human Relations
  • Patients Rights Council
  • Physicians for Compassionate Care
  • Placer Independent Resource Services, Inc.
  • Pro-Life America
  • Right to Life League of Southern California
  • San Mateo County, CA
  • Scholl Institute of Bioethics
  • Second Thoughts, People Living with Disabilities Opposing Assisted Suicide
  • Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative
  • TASH
  • The Arc of California
  • The California Catholic Conference
  • The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC Network)
  • The Oaks Group
  • West Coast Pro Life
  • Western Service Workers Association
  • World Association of Persons with Disabilities (WAPD)