Margaret Dore, a Washington State lawyer, published this article opposing California assisted suicide bill ABX2-15 after she attended a recent committee hearing. Her response was published on the California Against Assisted Suicide website on September 9, 2015.
1. New Mexico no longer allows physician-assisted suicide.
2. Under ABX2-15, requiring the patient to meet alone with the doctor as a protection against undue influence, is not necessarily a safeguard. See § 443.5(a)(4). Consider, for example, if the doctor, himself or herself, has an interest in seeing the patient gone. For example, if the doctor botched the patient’s case and wants to eliminate the liability by eliminating the patient.
3. ABX2-15 protects patients by providing that doctors may be sanctioned by their licensing board or agency. See § 443.16(c). Doctors, however, are notoriously bad at policing themselves. For an extreme example, there is the case of Michael Swango MD, who thrill-killed his patients. When hospital administrators became aware of a potential problem, they simply let him go, leaving him free to get another job and start killing again. (Information Link)
4. Under ABX2-15, a bad doctor like Swango would be additionally aided by "blanket immunity." See Committee Staff Analysis for the Assembly Committee on Public Health and Developmental Services, p. 17 (“the bill provides blanket immunity for health care providers ... even in instances where their actions are grossly negligent”).
5. There is already a problem with hospice and palliative care programs over-reaching and killing non-dying patients. See e.g., Peter Whoriskey, “As More Hospices Enroll Patients who Aren't Dying, Questions About Lethal Doses Arise,” Washington Post, August 21, 2014, (Link to the article). See also The Kaiser Papers, regarding California cases (Link to the article) If you can’t control the abuse now, why would you give doctors even more power to take away patient choice?
6. Dogs who are euthanized do not get to choose; people are already having the same problem with euthanasia not actually legal. Please vote “No” on ABX2-15.