It’s baaaack. A deceptive and poorly written assisted-suicide bill (as if there were such a thing as a “well-written” suicide bill) passed a California senate vote on Friday 23-14. It now awaits a decision from Governor Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill X2-15 was recently reintroduced after being shelved in July due to a lack of support. At the time, supporters of the bill seemed sure it would ride the emotional wave of support drummed up by Brittany Maynard’s own well-publicized suicide all the way to the governor’s desk. Thankfully, it did not. But supporters found an opening for re-introducing the bill by sneaking it into a special legislative session on health care financing. The bill’s reappearance in a special session devoted to addressing cost-saving measures for California’s MediCal program is certainly enough to raise the obvious questions about healthcare rationing and pushing suicide to the elderly and terminally ill as a means of reducing healthcare costs. Even Governor Brown has been critical of trying to ram the suicide bill through in special session, bypassing the normal legislative process. Now we’ll wait and see if he still thinks so or whether the mostly out of state, big money death lobby will force him to sign the bill.
I wrote previously about some of the problems with the bill back in March when it was worming its way through the state assembly. You can read more about some of the specific problems with this bill there. It’s modeled after similar bills in Oregon and Washington and make no mistake, AB 2X-15 is a spectacular lesson in sugar-coating death, employing the flowery language of appeals to “choice” and “compassion.” It even refers to the lethal prescription of drugs as “medication”. But of course, real medicine is aimed at curing, and when it can’t cure, at caring, not killing.
Both the American Medical Association and the World Medical Association reject assisted-suicide on the grounds that it confuses the role of the physician, turning doctors into killers. The bill also requires physicians to lie about causes of death on death certificates.
Promises of protection against coercion have time and time again been shown to be meaningless in Oregon and especially in places with an established assisted-suicide culture such as Belgium and the Netherlands, where doctors have even openly begun admitting to carrying out involuntary killings. There is simply no place for legitimizing killing as an aspect of sound medical practice in a civilized society.
The image conjured by most suicide advocates of someone suffering horrible and unmanageable pain at the end of life is a fiction meant to elicit misguided pity. Most calls for suicide are in reality, calls for basic human love and care, all too often absent near the end of life. Those who suffer near the end of life need care, compassion, emotional and spiritual support, human contact, and friends and family by their side. No one, especially the most vulnerable, should ever be convinced that they are no longer worthy of life or that they have somehow lost their dignity in their suffering.
Don’t let this deceptive and dangerous death-dealing bill to slip past the legislative process. Click HERE to urge Governor Jerry Brown to veto the bill.