Military Veterans Threatened by Assisted Suicide

This article was published by True Dignity Vermont on May 14, 2016.

Rep Al Baldasaro

Rep Al Baldasaro

Representative Al Baldasaro of the New Hampshire Legislature on gave an impassioned speech on May 11 against a proposed “study committee” to look at “end of life choices.” Speaking on behalf of Veterans’ PTSD/TBI Commission, he cited the fact that New Hampshire is facing an epidemic of suicides among Veterans, and said: 

“What message are you sending to the community out there and all the good work every one of us has done to protect people from killing themselves? Now we want to make it easy?”

Link to the video/speech by Representative Al Baldasaro.

He said that opening the door to such a practice would have grave consequences for veterans at risk for suicide, and that even studying such a bill would threaten efforts to help veterans. He clearly states that euphemisms such as “aid in dying” don’t change the fact that such laws promote suicide and threaten efforts to protect people from killing themselves.

Thank you to NH House of Representatives for Defeating SB426

Nancy Elliott, Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) USA

Nancy Elliott

Nancy Elliott

The New Hampshire House of Representatives recently defeated SB426, a bill to study Assisted Suicide Euthanasia. It was a surprising defeat. 

EPC USA had worked closely with advocates in New Hampshire since the bill was first filed in the Senate. EPC USA and our allies educated the public and legislators on the dangers of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, including discrimination against the disabled, elderly, and ill who are encouraged to commit suicide while the young and healthy get suicide prevention. 

The bill's proponents had called for a Commission to Study End of Life Options, particularly "Aid in Dying," but bill sponsor Senator Kelly admitted at the Senate hearing that the real target was Assisted Suicide. 

Not only, then, was this commission clearly a showcase for Assisted Suicide, the proposed commissioners were loaded with activists likely to support this radical measure. While the commission claimed it would listen to stakeholders, people who would be affected by the proposed legislation, the commission would not even have had a single representative from a disability community group or seniors group. These are the two communities in the crosshairs of this type of legislation. 

Nonetheless, the bill had come out of the Judiciary Committee with the recommendation of Ought to Pass with Amendment. 

In the House Judiciary Committee hearing, John Kelly, regional director of disability community group Not Dead Yet, advocated for the rights of the disabled and elderly. Dr. Richard Johnson of New Hampshire and Dr. Paul Saba of Physicians for Social Justice, based in Montreal, testified that doctors make mistakes, and with treatment many of these people could live for years to come. 

EPC USA's coalition members worked in the Senate and the House to educate legislators on the dangers of SB426. And at the last minute, NH House members secured enough votes to soundly reject this idea on the House floor. 

Passing this bill would not have implemented Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia, but it would have put us closer to it. And even the unbalanced commission would have created some appearance of legitimacy for any bill they pushed, no matter how radical. This is a great win for our New Hampshire advocates, EPC USA, and the citizens of New Hampshire. 

For more information on this bill (Link).

Victory: New Hampshire assisted suicide study bill defeated

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Nancy Elliott

Nancy Elliott

Nancy Elliott, the Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA reported that the New Hampshire assisted suicide / euthanasia study bill SB426 was clearly defeated by a bi-partisan vote 174 - 123.

Elliott warned New Hampshire citizens that SB426 was a trojan horse designed to lead to the legalization of assisted suicide and possibly euthanasia in New Hampshire.

Elliott, who is a former three term New Hampshire representative stated in a recent article:

We have studied this topic extensively in New Hampshire. This bill [in its original form, without the proposed House amendment] talks about end of life choices, but singles out “Aid in Dying” – a euphemism for assisted suicide and euthanasia. It is apparent that the “choice” that this bill wants to promote is suicide. By rolling this into a commission stacked with pro-euthanasia people, this idea can be foisted on the citizens of New Hampshire. It gives a platform for pro-assisted suicide / euthanasia advocates to have a platform to push this with. 
[I saw] in my time in the New Hampshire State House where these commissions used their power to bring in huge hybrid bills and push things on the state that are not necessarily vetted well by legislators, only [by] commissions. These commissions are stacked with what they call stakeholders, generally supporters of extensive changes to our laws. 

Elliott has become a leader in the movement to protect people from assisted suicide. Elliott recently explained why assisted suicide is so dangerous:

Assisted suicide/euthanasia is abusive in its very nature. To suggest that someone kill themselves is abuse, and that is exactly what we do when we put these laws in place.

[Assisted suicide] laws are ripe for elder abuse. Generally, your heir can sign you up [for advance directives] and speak for you. There is no witness required at the death [caused by prescribed-suicide drugs], so if the lethal dose was given against the patient’s will, no one would know. And then the death certificate is falsified to say the person died of natural causes, leaving any prosecution for wrongdoing impossible. 
It is also aimed at people with disabilities. While young healthy people are counseled against suicide, people with disabilities are encouraged to commit suicide. Think about it: just having a doctor or nurse suggest that you might want to consider suicide is abusive.

Another huge problem is that doctor predictions [about life expectancy with terminal illness] can be wrong. Many people are alive years and decades after they were told there was no hope. With assisted suicide and euthanasia on the table, they could throw away their lives. In Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, state-run Medicaid Insurance has denied coverage for medical treatment while offering to pay for a lethal dose of drugs. This should send a chill up all our spines. Oregon also seems to be showing signs of suicide contagion; rates have risen since legalization.

Assisted suicide /euthanasia are dangerous public policy and should be rejected. This proposed commission is just a Trojan Horse to bring these policies to New Hampshire.

EPC-USA is hosting a leaders meeting on Monday, May 23 in Washington DC. For more information email: info@epcc.ca

John Kelly: Assisted Suicide Laws and Bills are “Riddled with Falsehoods”

John Kelly

John Kelly

This article was published by Not Dead Yet on April 7, 2016.

On March 29, Not Dead Yet New England Regional Coordinator and Second Thoughts Massachusetts Director John Kelly testified against New Hampshire Bill SB426, which would establish an “end-of-life choices study commission.” Using the euphemisms of proponents like Compassion & Choices against the bill, John lists the ways in which the bill is “riddled with falsehoods.”

Excellent opposition testimony was also delivered by doctors Paul Saba and Richard Johnson, and former New Hampshire legislator Nancy Elliott. Below are excerpts from John’s testimony:

Chairman Rowe, Vice-Chairman Hagan, Members of the Committee:

. . . Please reject SB426 because it is riddled with falsehoods. From the words of the commission’s title to its enumerated duties, it’s clear that legalization proponents drafted the bill. It is a stalking horse for the legalization of assisted suicide.

The first falsehood is the phrase “end-of-life.” The committee should know that in current practice, the “end-of-life” is the six-month period following a physician’s terminal diagnosis. Yet of the millions of misdiagnoses every year, many are terminal misdiagnoses. We know this because of the thousands of people who “graduate” from hospice each year. …

Assisted suicide laws turn the best outcome under hospice – proving you weren’t terminal after all – into the worst possible end for people who might live months, years, or decades longer, but are instead persuaded (or coerced) under threat of agonizing death to commit suicide.

Link to the full article

For the Sake of Families Please Do Not Go Down Canada’s Dark Road of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide

Open letter to Governor Hassan of New Hampshire – From Dr Paul Saba

Dr Paul Saba

Dr Paul Saba

As the state of New Hampshire considers establishing an end-of-life choices study commission, I strongly advise against this. This will only lead down the same dark road that Canada has travelled. Although in the United States euthanasia and physician assisted suicide falls under state jurisdiction, in Canada this falls under both Federal and Provincial jurisdictions.

Presently, Canada is proposing doctor assisted suicide and euthanasia of its most vulnerable citizens including children who are “mature minors” and the depressed.

Children possibly as young as 11 or 12 could see their lives ended prematurely without parental consent or prior notification. The serious consequences of enacting such a provision is illustrated by the case of Nadine (Video Link). At 14 years old, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. She underwent multiple chemotherapies and a failed bone marrow transplant. She was told that she had little chance to survive. She states that without the loving support of her family, she would have given up. Today at 19 she is well and happy to be alive.

History has taught us that killing the weak and vulnerable is a formula for disaster. The Romans encouraged the weak, sick and depressed to kill themselves. In 1938, Germany started euthanizing handicapped children. Today, Belgium and the Netherlands euthanize children, the depressed and those tired of life. 

As a physician with dual USA and Canada citizenship, I have studied and practiced medicine in both countries. I presently live in Montreal. As President and Founder of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice my progressive ideas have included promoting quality medical care for the poor, incapacitated, the elderly and the young. However, I do not consider euthanasia and doctor assisted suicide as progressive. Presently in the province of Quebec many citizens have already been euthanized under a cloud of government controlled secrecy despite a requirement of an oversight committee. 

Link to the full article

Nancy Elliott testifies against assisted suicide in Rhode Island

Nancy Elliott

Nancy Elliott

This is the testimony by Nancy Elliott, a former three term state representative from New Hampshire and a member of the EPC- International team. Nancy was given two minutes to testify in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island debates assisted suicide.

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Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia opens a huge avenue for elder abuse, from gentle coercion from medical personal to things much more sinister, particularly when the senior has money. It also discriminates against people with disabilities as most people that would qualify for this act are at that time disabled. Healthy people are protected from suicide while disabled people are steered to it. (Link to an article about some of the abuses in Washington and Oregon). It also encourages suicide in the general population. If grandma and grandpa kill themselves, when life gets hard, so will their children and grandchildren. It is a bad public policy. 

When suicide is a "treatment" for certain illnesses, it creates a lower standard in our overall healthcare. When doctors end the life of their patients for having certain diseases, that discourages looking for new cures or treatments. This encourages the mentality to just give up and die. This bill as with the others I have read, is not about people that are necessarily dying. A young person with insulin dependent diabetes would qualify. 

There are financial winners with Assisted Suicide. Where this is legal, state insurance has denied treatment to some patients, while offering to pay for their suicide. We all know someone that got an incorrect diagnosis from their doctor. With assisted suicide on the table, that diagnosis can lead to a deadly mistake, having the patient throw away their lives. At a recent Massachusetts hearing a doctor that was for assisted suicide was talking about what a good doctor was. He said that doctors need to "guide people to the right choice." As he is a proponent for assisted suicide is there any doubt what he or other doctors like him will steer their patients toward. For these reasons and many more we in the New Hampshire house have rejected assisted suicide/euthanasia. The last time was in 2014 where it was defeated on the floor of the House by 219 to 66. Liberals, Conservatives and Libertarians joined together to protect our citizens from this form of exploitation. I urge the Rhode Island House of Representatives to reject it too.

Nancy Elliott
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - International - US

East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide

East Coast Conf. Logo.png

Attend the East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide on November 21 - 22, 2014 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel (Bradbury Airport) near Hartford Connecticut.

Link to the registration.

The East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide will provide you and your group effective information to oppose assisted suicide in your state.

Speakers include:
Wesley Smith - Attorney and award winning author and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism.

John Kelly, Connecticut.jpg

Alex Schadenberg - Executive Director and International Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. He is an author and a well known speaker against euthanasia and assisted suicide.

John Kelly - Director, Second Thoughts Massachusetts and New England Regional Director, Not Dead Yet.

Nancy Elliott - A former three term New Hampshire State Representative, and organizer of Living with Dignity - New Hampshire.

Catherine Glenn Foster - Litigation counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. She is a key member of the Life Litigation Team at its Washington, D.C., Regional Service Center.

Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and speaker against assisted suicide in Connecticut and regionally. Peter led the charge in Connecticut against assisted suicide.

Link to the full article.