In October, we reported that the District of Columbia Council planned a vote on assisted suicide. B21-38, known as the “Death with Dignity” bill, was postponed until November 1st, when council members will decide whether to legalize assisted suicide in D.C.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA believes that the quick and vocal response of pro-lifers is what caused the D.C. Council to table the bill, and they are urging everyone to take action once again.
In a statement on Facebook, the Euthanasia Preventional Coalition USA points out that this bill has further-reaching implications than just allowing the terminally ill to commit suicide. “This bill not only discriminates against the sick, the elderly and individuals with disabilities, but also completely limits both choice and autonomy,” they wrote. There are multiple issues with this bill that actually destroy patient autonomy, as well as can put major burdens on those who are elderly, disabled, or suffering from terminal or long-term illnesses.
The doctor decides, not the patient.
To start with, the bill is written so that it is the doctor, not the patient, who decides if the patient is eligible for assisted suicide, which throws the idea of more autonomy out the window. It also does not require a psychological exam first, which takes out a safeguard for patients suffering from mental illness. “A patient may not have the capacity to make a real choice if they are depressed and untreated, or feel unwanted,” the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA pointed out.
Coercion of patients is encouraged.
Even worse, the bill encourages coercion of patients. The heir to the patient’s estate can be there to witness their written request for the drugs, and they can even pick up the drugs for the patient. Imagine being elderly and suffering from a terminal illness and having your family make you feel like you’re a burden on them. Under the proposed D.C. bill, they could not only pressure you into assisted suicide, but they could also can watch you every step of the way to make sure you go through with it.
Insurance can deny life-saving treatment.
In addition to all of this, the D.C. bill mirrors what has already taken place in states like Oregon and California: it allows an insurance company or government entity to decide whether life-saving treatment is covered, or if the less-expensive suicide pills are covered. It is not uncommon for people (like Stephanie Packer) to be battling diseases like cancer to find out that their insurance won’t cover chemotherapy, but it will cover drugs for assisted suicide. After all, the lethal drugs required for someone to kill themselves is a one-time payment that will only cost the insurance company hundreds of dollars. Chemotherapy or other treatments can cost thousands of dollars for months, if not years.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA is urging people to contact the following D.C. Council members to offer their opposition to this bill. The assisted suicide lobby is very invested in seeing this bill pass, which means pro-lifers need to be even louder.
- Office of the Mayor, Press Secretary LaToya Foster: (202) 727-5011, [email protected]
- D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson: (202) 724-8032, [email protected]
- Monique Wynn, Deputy Chief for the Chairman: (202) 724-8792, [email protected]
- Lindsey Walton, Director of Communications for Council Chair Phil Mendelson: (202) 724-8140, [email protected]
- Michele Blackwell, Chief of Staff for Council Member Elissa Silverman: (202) 724-7772, [email protected]
- Ari Weisbard, Legislative Director for Council Member Elissa Silverman: (202) 724-7772, [email protected]