Legislative Battle in Misguided Bill for Aid in Dying
by Paula Panzarella, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide
The Public Health Committee of the State Legislature is considering S.B. No. 88, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients. I urge PAR readers to contact their state legislators. If this bill is to pass, it would be disastrous for individuals and society.
Below is a shortened version of my article in the CT Mirror:
Considerations Against Medical Aid in Dying
We need more medical care and research, not less. It’s horrible that our medical system cannot adequately manage people’s pain, and that far too many diseases have no cures or treatments.
Long before the COVID pandemic, we had an overburdened, understaffed and inefficient medical system where all too often the cost-effectiveness of one treatment over another determined the patient’s care. Sometimes an insurance company takes the cheap route, sometimes the doctor or hospital, sometimes the patient who can’t afford the most effective treatment.
Doctors are not always right in their diagnoses and prognoses. I’ve seen patients’ wishes for care being ignored. I’ve seen attempts to pressure family members to agree to palliative care or hospice care instead of treatment for their loved ones’ conditions.
The elderly, people of color, disabled, and the impoverished already fight not to be marginalized in the medical system. We all need to fight together for increased research in pain management, treatments, and quality of life issues for as long as a person is alive.
This is a larger matter than individual rights. If S.B. 88 passes, others are threatened to have care denied. Like upholding as “freedom of choice” an individual’s right to not wear a mask during a pandemic, so too “freedom to choose death” puts others at risk.
A doctor takes an oath to heal, comfort and care for a patient. Assisted suicide casts suspicion not only on the doctors involved, but on the entire medical profession as they relinquish their responsibility to try to restore the patient to health.
The medical aid in dying bill is part of healthcare deform, not healthcare reform.