Please Help PAMAS Create a Documentary Film

Joan Cavanagh, member, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide (PMAS)

Public discussion about the realities of Medical Assisted Suicide (MAS) is critical. The practice is increasingly becoming normalized as a “health care” option and already inadequate safeguards and restrictions in existing laws are eroding.

Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide (PAMAS) is fundraising to create a documentary examining this issue in a critical light. We hope our film will add another dimension to a conversation that has thus far been dominated by the religious right (which opposes MAS for its own reasons, which we do not share) and by liberal supporters who discount the disability and social justice arguments against it.

The documentary will be produced by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Karyl Evans, based in North Haven. 100% of all money raised will cover the filmmaker, crew, and associated expenses. Research, writing, organizing, and review will be done by volunteer (unpaid) PAMAS members.

“Better off dead” is the lens through which those of us who are old, disabled, and/or seriously ill are viewed, including by many medical professionals. Combine that prejudice with the for-profit medical system and its corrosive “you don’t want to be a burden” message and you have a lethal mix. Medical Assisted Suicide only opens another avenue for impossible-to-document coercion, neglect, and abuse,
both institutional and personal.

The organizations lobbying most avidly to pass MAS legislation are also hard at work to reduce the limited restrictions and safeguards in the laws that have already been enacted in 11 jurisdictions in the United States: ending state residency requirements; reducing or eliminating waiting periods;
broadening the kinds of medical providers who can prescribe the lethal drugs; and expanding the categories of patients (including those with dementia) who can qualify. Thus, even former supporters have begun to rethink the passage of such laws.

Please consider helping PAMAS present another side to this discussion. Make your check out to Center for Disability Rights.

IMPORTANT: Write “NDY/PAMAS” in the check memo line.

Mail checks to PAMAS, care of Joan Cavanagh
34 Walnut St., Floor 1
New Haven CT 06511

Donations are tax-deductible.

For more information, contact [email protected]. Our website is

Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide Launches New Website

by Joan Cavanagh, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide

Thanks to co-hosting and considerable technical assistance from the Patients Rights Action Fund (PRAF), Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide (PAMAS) now has its own website, It’s an ongoing endeavor (and the three of us managing it have a steep technical learning curve) but we’re on our way! We will be adding updates, news, and information as things develop.

As PAR readers know, PAMAS formed in 2021 to open a path for leftist and progressive opposition to legislation enabling physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to terminate their patients’ lives. We believe that those who are committed, as we are, to universal, comprehensive, fully accessible, unrestricted, high-quality health and palliative care must stand equally strongly against MAS, which will contribute further to the already existing deadly discrimination against the most vulnerable among us.

PAMAS members disagree with those who favor these laws but we agree on many other issues. We support and advocate for reproductive rights, disability justice, labor rights, the rights of LGBTQIA people, and for prison and police reform. Many of us are lifelong war resisters and several of us worked to help repeal the death penalty in our state. We see MAS as a serious threat to the lives of the most vulnerable among us and to our vision of a just society. The website provides links to testimonies, as well as articles by others and several links to outside sources. More will follow. We hope that you’ll visit.

With allies in the disability justice movement, we helped to defeat the most recent MAS bills proposed in Connecticut. Each year, the well-funded proponents bring up more legislation, and we are sure they’ll be ready to go in 2024. We plan to be ready, too.

One further appeal: we need a progressive, experienced videographer who agrees with us on this issue to help us produce a video as soon as possible. We’ll try to raise some funds, although this would need to be a labor of love as well. If you’re interested, please contact me at [email protected] or the group at [email protected].