Assisted Suicide bills are being defeated in America

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2016, assisted suicide bills initiatives have already been defeated in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Utah. There have been several groups that have been effectively working to defeat these bills, including state groups opposing assisted suicide, medical associations, local and national disability rights groups including Not Dead Yet and DREDF and groups such as the Patients Rights Action Fund. 

Many caring people gave testimony before State legislative committees concerning the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide.

According to the Patients Rights Action Fund:

  • The Arizona assisted suicide bill was defeated in the Senate's Health and Human Services Committee.
  • The Colorado assisted suicide bill failed in the Senate Committee and the Colorado Assembly didn't take up the bill because it lacked support. Also the Colorado Title Board decided not to advance a ballot measure that to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.
  • The Hawaii assisted suicide bill was not heard by the Senate committee.
  • The Iowa assisted suicide bill was stopped in the Senate sub-committee.
  • The Maryland assisted suicide bill was withdrawn after the sponsor recognized that the bill was going to be defeated.
  • The Nebraska assisted suicide bill was defeated after a tie vote in Committee.
  • The New Jersey assisted suicide bill was withdrawn when the sponsor realized that the bill did not have enough support.
  • The Utah assisted suicide bill was sent back to the rules committee.

The assisted suicide bills in New York and the District of Columbia are the remaining threats.

The California legislator passed the assisted suicide bill by subverting the legislative process in a 'Special Extraordinary Session.' Since the Extraordinary Session has not closed, therefore the California assisted suicide bill is not in effect. Further to that, based on California law, the assisted suicide law will go into effect 90 days after the closing of the Extraordinary Session. Therefore assisted suicide is not currently legal in California.

Alabama bill would clarify protections in law from assisted suicide

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2015, 26 US states are debating bills to legalize assisted suicide.

Nearly every US state have laws that specifically protect people from assisted suicide. A few states do not have specific statutes protecting people from assisted suicide, but rather prohibit assisted suicide based on common law.

In Alabama, Rep Arnold Mooney is planning to introduce a bill to clarify protections in law from assisted suicide. The Alabama media reported that:

The Assisted Suicide Ban Act would prohibit a physician or other health care provider to help a person die by prescribing a drug or by other means, he said. 
Assisted suicide is prohibited under Alabama common law due to prior court decisions on the issue. Forty-three states have laws on the books prohibiting physician-assisted suicide.

Rep Mooney stated:

"The state has an interest in protecting vulnerable groups, including the impoverished, the elderly, and disabled persons from abuse, neglect and mistakes," 
"A ban on assisted suicide reflects and reinforces our belief that the lives of those in vulnerable groups are no less valued than the lives of the young and healthy."

In the past few years, Georgia and Arizona passed bills to clarify protections in law from assisted suicide.

America's Dr Death loses medical license.

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Lawrence Egbert

Lawrence Egbert, a leader of the Final Exit Network, has lost his medical license in Maryland.

After a two year review, the Maryland Board of Physicians revoked his medical license after deciding that Egbert's actions were unethical and illegal. Egbert has said that he plans to appeal.

An article in the Baltimore Sun stated:

A Baltimore anesthesiologist who made national news as "The New Doctor Death" held six elderly Marylanders' hands as they asphyxiated themselves with helium and covered up the suicides after they died, according to a state order filed this month stripping him of his medical license. 
The suicides are among nearly 300 Lawrence D. Egbert said he helped arrange across the country as an "exit guide" for right-to-die group Final Exit Network. He and several colleagues were arrested in 2009 amid an undercover investigation in Georgia, but he avoided any punishment there or in another case in Arizona. He awaits trial for assisting in a suicide in Minnesota

Stephen Drake, an expert on the Final Exit Network and the research analyst for the disability rights group Not Dead Yet told the Baltimore Sun:

Link to the full article.