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Sunday, June 19, 2016

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Don’t pass death with dignity act

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2236819-155/letter-dont-pass-death-with-dignity

I am a lawyer in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal. Our law is based on a similar law in Oregon. Both laws are similar to HB391, which is pending in the Utah legislature. I disagree with Nancy Thompson that passing that bill will enhance individual choice (Feb. 27).

Legal assisted suicide is, instead, a recipe for elder abuse. HB391, like Washington's law, allows one of two witnesses on the lethal dose request form to be an heir who will financially benefit from the patient's death. Once the lethal dose is issued by the pharmacy, there is no oversight. Even if the patient struggled, who would know?  (For more information, click here).

Thompson compares legalizing assisted suicide to pet euthanasia in which the owner, not the pet, makes the decision to end the pet's life. More to the point, the pet does not get to choose.
I hope that you can keep assisted suicide out of Utah.

Don't make Washington's mistake.

Margaret Dore
Seattle


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Problems with H.B. 391

By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

H.B. 391 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Utah.  I am a lawyer in Washington State where we have a similar law.  Our law is based on a law in Oregon.  

Problems include:


1.  HB 391, if enacted, will encourage people with years to live to throw away their lives.

HB 391 seeks to legalize assisted suicide for persons with a "terminal disease," which is defined as having less than six months to live.  In Oregon's law, which uses the same definition, young adults with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, are "eligible" for assisted suicide.  Such persons can have years, even decades, to live.  See https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/a-2270-3r-memo-12-02-14.pdf   "Eligible" patients can also have years to live because doctors can be wrong.  See https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/terminal-uncertainty.pdf and https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/signed-john-norton-affidavit_001.pdf

2.  HB 391, if enacted, will allow health care providers/institutions to use coverage incentives to steer patients to suicide.

In Oregon, that state's Medicaid Plan steers patients to suicide through coverage incentives.  If HB 391 is enacted, Utah health care providers/institutions will be able to do the same thing.  For more information about Oregon's situation, see the affidavit of Kenneth Stevens, MD, at this link:  https://maasdocuments.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/dr-stevens-affidavit_001.pdf 

3.  Legalization is a recipe for elder abuse. 

HB 391, like Washington's law, has no oversight at the death.  No doctor is required to be present. Not even a witness is required.  This situation creates the opportunity for an heir, or another person who will benefit from the patient's death, to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his consent. Even if he struggled, who would know?

4.  Increased suicide

In Oregon, other suicides have increased with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide.  See http://www.choiceillusion.org/2014/03/the-high-financial-cost-of-regular.html Legalization, regardless, sends the wrong message to young people that suicide is an acceptable solution to life's problems. Utah already has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.  See http://www.standard.net/Health/2014/05/22/Utah-suicide-rate-soars

5.  Washington's similar law.

For a short article about Washington's similar law, please go here (non-lawyers tell me they like it):  https://www.kcba.org/newsevents/barbulletin/BView.aspx?Month=05&Year=2009&AID=article5.htm

Friday, February 27, 2015

Utah man, 75, pleads guilty in death of ailing wife The Salt Lake Tribune

http://www.sltrib.com/news/2229855-155/utah-man-75-pleads-guilty-in

A 75-year-old Roy man accused of killing his ailing wife — after he purportedly studied methods of assisted suicide — has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted murder.

Dennis Vance Chamberlain was charged in Ogden's 2nd District Court with first-degree felony murder in the death of his wife, 70-year-old Jean Chamberlain, on Feb. 16, 2014.

On Thursday, Chamberlain pleaded guilty to attempted murder. As part of the plea deal, attorneys stipulated to a sentence of six years to life in prison, according to Deputy Weber County Benjamin Willoughby. The murder charge was punishable by a 15-years-to-life prison term.