GRP Will oppose legalized euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide

Short name: oppose legalized euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide

Sponsor: David Rolde,

seeking co-sponsors

Seeking review and feedback from Plaftorm Committee (if it is reconvened), Legislative Committee, Membership Committee (because this relates to issues of disabled people and other diverse populations), GRP local chapters, Adcom, Statecom members

Summary:

This proposal is for the GRP to oppose the legalization of euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. Medical professionals should not be killing people or prescribing death.

Background:

Euthanasia and/or doctor-assisted suicide has been legalized in several countries in Europe (e.g. The Netherlands and Belgium), in several U.S. states (e.g., Oregon, Washington and California) and in Canada. This has resulted in patients being encouraged to kill themselves or be euthanized by healthcare workers and insurance companies.

In Oregon and California, cancer patients have received letters from their insurance companies not only denying coverage for treatments prescribed by their doctors, but also specifically informing them that assisted death would be covered. Even without legalized assisted suicide, disabled people seeking healthcare often have to deal with healthcare workers who say that they would’t want to live with that disability (e.g., quadriplegia). With legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide, healthcare professionals sometimes actually recommend and offer assisted death to disabled and elderly people who present with even minor and treatable health conditions, and in some cases people have been euthanized against their will. In the Netherlands and Belgium the situation has progressed to the point that euthanasia is sometimes being prescribed for young people for post-traumatic stress and depression.

In the U.S. we do not have good health care available to everyone. We need to provide universal free good healthcare, not provide assisted suicide and euthanasia. I n 2012 Massachusetts voters defeated a statewide ballot question that would have legalized doctor-assisted suicide. The ballot question was defeated by voters in municipalities with a high proportion of low-income and non-white people. National disability rights groups such as ADAPT and The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund oppose legalizing assisted suicide. Single-issue orgs in opposition to assisted suicide include the national group Not Dead Yet and the Massachusetts-based group Second Thoughts which are both led by disability rights activists. Despite the defeat of the ballot question in Massachusetts in 2012, there is a new bill before the Massachusetts state legislature every year to try to legalize assisted suicide. Disability rights activists and other progressive activists have to testify against the bill every year. This year assisted suicide was legalized in New Jersey and in Maine last week.

This year for the first time the majority of legislators on the statehouse committee vetting the assisted suicide bill are proponents of the bill. We really need the Green-Rainbow Party to be active in the opposition in order to defeat the bill this year. The American Medical Association is still opposed to assisted suicide. Doctors and other healthcare workers are supposed to help people live not kill people. Euthanasia and assisted suicide violate the hippocratic oath.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia are a murderous policy against disabled people, elderly people (There is a high rate of elder abuse in Massachusetts), poor people and people of colonized and oppressed nationalities (non-white people). Their lives are not valued. We must value their lives and provide them with good health care, housing, help to take care of themselves and everything they need to live comfortably and happily.

Proposal text:

1.The Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts will take a position in opposition to legalized doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia. 2. GRP will add this position to our Party Agenda and/or to future platform documents

2. GRP will oppose bills at the Massachusetts statehouse that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide and/or euthanasia this year (2019) and in future years.

3. GRP will submit a proposal this year (2019) to amend the GPUS Platform to oppose doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Implementation: reconvened Platform Committee, Legislative Committee, GRP rep(s) to GPUS Platform Committee, Adcom

Financial Impact:

possibility of contributing up to a few hundred dollars towards written material and forums in opposition to assisted suicide to be co-sponsored by GRP and other orgs working to oppose legalization of assisted suicide in Massachusetts. But we could implement the proposal without this spending.


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  • Robert Mason
    commented 2019-09-23 11:28:19 -0400
    There are tough diseases and death is never easy but we need to respect human life – it is too easy to go down the slippery slope of assisted suicide – with good pain management most can pass peacefully in a natural time span. My mom and dad did.
  • Robert Mason
    tagged this with Good 2019-09-23 11:28:18 -0400
  • Eileen Wheeler Sheehan
    commented 2019-09-09 03:11:22 -0400
    While insurance companies and the profit motive should never be considered in matters such as ending a human life, the GRP cannot conflate doctors with insurance companies. Medical professionals discuss end-of-life scenarios with their patients every day. The patient’s right is paramount. Patients choose end-of-life options every day. Modern medical care expands those options. (Think opioid prescriptions.) With these expanded powers, comes the expanded responsibility of health care professionals. Perhaps the proposal should be worded to ensure that doctors do not assist in patient self-harm nor in a patient’s suicide for unacceptable reasons.
  • Hal Brown
    commented 2019-09-08 17:35:55 -0400
    This is a complicated issue but what sounded like the biggest problem was the inclusion of insurance companies in the decision process in ending someone’s life. There should never be a profit motive for that or other health concerns. If eel sympathetic to my perceived goal of this and would like to suggest it because ore directed at removing the profit motive from assisted suicide.
  • David Rolde
    commented 2019-07-13 20:25:37 -0400
    Jed Stamas has agreed to cosponsor this proposal
  • Joshua Gerloff
    commented 2019-07-08 00:16:22 -0400
    From Sharron Tetrault: The arguments to oppose Doctor assisted suicide are compelling and shocking but my family history leads me to support and advocate for it. (my white abled privilege rears it’s selfish head). I don’t have a problem, however with GRP taking this stance based on social and economic justice.
  • Charlene DiCalogero
    commented 2019-07-06 16:51:45 -0400
    I am not ready to support this proposal. I understand this to be a difficult, complex and emotional issue. I agree we need to guarantee healthcare of all kinds to all people with all kinds of health issues as a basic human right, and that suicide as it arises from mental/emotional distress, bullying, availability of guns, etc., is a serious problem in our society that we should put much more effort and $ toward ameliorating. I believe there are also people who have extremely painful illnesses and little hope of recovery, who believe that they have a right to choose to end their lives. It is possible that physician-assisted suicide can be done ethically and with safeguards for people who can consciously choose, who have the mental and emotional groundedness to choose. I do not want this kind of act to be unnecessarily criminalized.
  • Charlene DiCalogero
    commented 2019-07-06 16:42:12 -0400
    The Central Mass Green-Rainbow chapter opposed this proposal at its June meeting.
  • David Rolde
    commented 2019-07-01 18:39:58 -0400
    Websites of disability rights organizations opposing physician-assisted suicide

    https://notdeadyet.org
    https://www.second-thoughts.org
    https://dredf.org/public-policy/assisted-suicide/ and https://dredf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Revised-OR-WA-Abuses.pdf

    Editorial by Richard Thomas the mayor of Mount Vernon, NY, about opposition to assisted suicide by African (Black) and Indigneous (Latinx) people https://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-opinion/article/Mount-Vernon-Mayor-Richard-Thomas-urges-rejection-7963525.php
  • David Rolde
    tagged this with Important 2019-07-01 18:39:57 -0400
  • David Rolde
    tagged this with Good 2019-07-01 18:39:56 -0400
  • Eileen Wheeler Sheehan
    commented 2019-06-28 14:43:24 -0400
    I am opposed to this proposal. I respect the motivation but believe this would cause unnecessary pain and suffering if implemented as proposed.
  • Eileen Wheeler Sheehan
    tagged this with Bad 2019-06-28 14:43:24 -0400
  • Maha Gray
    commented 2019-06-27 20:42:25 -0400
    Much more information and discussion is necessary.
  • Maha Gray
    tagged this with Important 2019-06-27 20:42:23 -0400
  • David Rolde
    commented 2019-06-16 23:51:53 -0400
    With paragraph breaks (I hope)

    Short name: oppose legalized euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide

    Sponsor: David Rolde, seeking co-sponsors

    Seeking review and feedback from Plaftorm Committee (if it is reconvened), Legislative Committee, Membership Committee (because this relates to issues of disabled people and other diverse populations), GRP local chapters, Adcom, Statecom members

    Summary: This proposal is for the GRP to oppose the legalization of euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. Medical professionals should not be killing people or prescribing death.

    Background: Euthanasia and/or doctor-assisted suicide has been legalized in several countries in Europe (e.g. The Netherlands and Belgium), in several U.S. states (e.g., Oregon, Washington and California) and in Canada. This has resulted in patients being encouraged to kill themselves or be euthanized by healthcare workers and insurance companies.

    In Oregon and California, cancer patients have received letters from their insurance companies not only denying coverage for treatments prescribed by their doctors, but also specifically informing them that assisted death would be covered. Even without legalized assisted suicide, disabled people seeking healthcare often have to deal with healthcare workers who say that they would’t want to live with that disability (e.g., quadriplegia). With legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide, healthcare professionals sometimes actually recommend and offer assisted death to disabled and elderly people who present with even minor and treatable health conditions, and in some cases people have been euthanized against their will.

    In the Netherlands and Belgium the situation has progressed to the point that euthanasia is sometimes being prescribed for young people for post-traumatic stress and depression.

    In the U.S. we do not have good health care available to everyone. We need to provide universal free good healthcare, not provide assisted suicide and euthanasia. I

    n 2012 Massachusetts voters defeated a statewide ballot question that would have legalized doctor-assisted suicide. The ballot question was defeated by voters in municipalities with a high proportion of low-income and non-white people.

    National disability rights groups such as ADAPT and The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund oppose legalizing assisted suicide. Single-issue orgs in opposition to assisted suicide include the national group Not Dead Yet and the Massachusetts-based group Second Thoughts which are both led by disability rights activists.

    Despite the defeat of the ballot question in Massachusetts in 2012, there is a new bill before the Massachusetts state legislature every year to try to legalize assisted suicide. Disability rights activists and other progressive activists have to testify against the bill every year. This year assisted suicide was legalized in New Jersey and in Maine last week. This year for the first time the majority of legislators on the statehouse committee vetting the assisted suicide bill are proponents of the bill. We really need the Green-Rainbow Party to be active in the opposition in order to defeat the bill this year.

    The American Medical Association is still opposed to assisted suicide. Doctors and other healthcare workers are supposed to help people live not kill people. Euthanasia and assisted suicide violate the hippocratic oath.

    Assisted suicide and euthanasia are a murderous policy against disabled people, elderly people (There is a high rate of elder abuse in Massachusetts), poor people and people of colonized and oppressed nationalities (non-white people). Their lives are not valued. We must value their lives and provide them with good health care, housing, help to take care of themselves and everything they need to live comfortably and happily.

    Proposal text:

    1.The Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts will take a position in opposition to legalized doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    2. GRP will add this position to our Party Agenda and/or to future platform documents

    2. GRP will oppose bills at the Massachusetts statehouse that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide and/or euthanasia this year (2019) and in future years.

    3. GRP will submit a proposal this year (2019) to amend the GPUS Platform to oppose doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    Implementation: reconvened Platform Committee, Legislative Committee, GRP rep(s) to GPUS Platform Committee, Adcom

    Financial Impact: possibility of contributing up to a few hundred dollars towards written material and forums in opposition to assisted suicide to be co-sponsored by GRP and other orgs working to oppose legalization of assisted suicide in Massachusetts. But we could implement the proposal without this spending.
  • David Rolde
    published this page in 2019 Summer Statecom Proposals 2019-06-16 23:51:13 -0400