Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide Confronts MAS Advocates at the State Capitol

by Joan Cavanagh, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide

Seven members of the core group of Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide (PAMAS) attended a press conference sponsored by Sen. Saud Anwar, Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee, and Compassion and Choices, the well-funded advocacy group for legalization of MAS, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Legislative Office Building. They held signs identifying the group, passed out leaflets, spoke to news reporters, and had several conversations with legislators and family members who also support MAS. They were joined by a few members of Second Thoughts Connecticut, a non-partisan disability justice organization.

Before the press conference, PAMAS sent emails to all members of the Public Health Committee, with the following text:

Dear Members of the Public Health Committee, We extend our sincere condolences on the shocking and tragic death of Rep. Quentin Williams of Middletown. …

We also offer best wishes for a productive legislative session in which the Public Health Committee will address important healthcare needs and hopefully put forward policies that truly make universal, comprehensive, unrestricted healthcare available to all. We are members of Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide. We strongly support health care for all, disability justice, reproductive rights, and the rights of LGBTQIA people. We equally strongly oppose Medical Assisted Suicide, called by its proponents “physician aid in dying.”

From our own experiences and those of others, we know that there are no “safeguards” that can be put in place to mitigate the danger that the legalization of this practice poses to the disabled, the elderly, the poor or anyone vulnerable in our current medical system.

As citizens of Connecticut and thus as your constituents, we request that you spend this session on legislation to expand quality healthcare access for all, including healthcare support at home for those who require it.

Please do not advance any legislation that would empower the medical system to terminate patients’ lives or prescribe drugs to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide


[email protected]

There are now two MAS bills pending before the Public Health Committee. Please write your representatives and senators and tell them to vote NO.

Joan Cavanagh, member of Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide, Second Thoughts Connecticut, and the New Haven Sunday Vigil for Peace and Justice.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share


  • Wouldn’t it be more progressive to allow people to make their own decision on this issue?

    Should people not be allowed to refuse medical treatment they don’t want? If they can refuse a treatment that would save their life, why can’t they choose one that would end their life?

    The distinction between aid in dying and refusing further medical treatment is a religious/spiritual one. It is a legitimate belief to hold. But it isn’t fair to impose those beliefs on others.

  • Hi, Alex,

    You wrote such a short comment and it made me think so much! For me there’s not a spiritual or religious distinction between aid in dying and refusing further medical treatment. Aid in dying/ medical assisted suicide is more than a personal choice, but one that has ramifications throughout our society. The medical and insurance industries are so concerned with profit that legitimizing medical assisted suicide will imperil people who are considered “less than” by the medical system. Already there is real coercion by doctors to family members and to the patients themselves to agree to stop treatments if the patient is elderly or “too difficult (expensive) a case. “Think about quality of life, you don’t want to keep coming back to the hospital now, do you?” “You don’t want to have to live with pain, do you?” That goes on now — if someone gets cajoled (if not by medical personnel, by family members, caregivers, health conservators) into accepting aid in dying, there’s no coming back from that. Elderly, people with disabilities, people of color, the poor and people without advocates are at great risk if this “choice” goes through. Universal, single-payer, comprehensive, quality healthcare for all is needed in the US, without profitability being a consideration. People need medical care to improve quality of life, the necessary medical/ technological equipment to live a functional life, and more funding to hospice care and research for pain management.

    Also, doctors have been wrong in diagnosing diseases and in estimating the length of time a patient can survive, and if people choose death because of an inaccurate diagnosis or prognosis, that would be horrible.

    As far as insurance companies, Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” is a real eye-opener about how people with health insurance have been wrongfully denied benefits (which caused their deaths) because of the profitability to the companies as well as the financial kickbacks to the doctors.

    In some states, where aid in dying has been approved, insurance won’t cover treatment, but will cover the drugs to cause one’s death. I don’t want Connecticut to be part of this.

    These are only some of the reasons I see a big danger to our society and to our humanity with medical assisted suicide and I hope the bills do not pass.