A veteran NH prolifer on end-of-life-study bill: “just a Trojan horse”

Nancy Elliott (photo by Ellen Kolb)
Nancy Elliott (photo by Ellen Kolb)

Earlier this year when SB 426 was introduced in the new Hampshire Senate, I asked Nancy Elliott about the bill. Nancy is a team member with the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and is a former New Hampshire state representative.

SB 426 is scheduled for a House vote later this week, with a proposed amendment that would remove the words “aid in dying” from the bill but would not rule out assisted suicide as a topic for study. [Update: the House rejected the bill.]

“The bill talks about end of life choices, but singles out ‘aid-in-dying’

Q: What’s wrong with simply studying end-of-life issues? How is that related to assisted suicide legislation?

Elliott: We have studied this topic extensively in New Hampshire. This bill [in its original form, without the proposed House amendment] talks about end of life choices, but singles out “Aid in Dying” – a  euphemism for assisted suicide and euthanasia.  It is apparent that the “choice” that this bill wants to promote is suicide.  By rolling this into a commission stacked with pro-euthanasia people, this idea can be foisted on the citizens of New Hampshire.  It gives a platform for pro-assisted suicide/euthanasia advocates to have a platform to push this with.

Q: How can a study commission advance a legislative goal?

Elliott: [I saw] in my time in the New Hampshire State House where these commissions used their power to bring in huge hybrid bills and push things on the state that are not necessarily vetted well by legislators, only [by] commissions.  These commissions are stacked with what they call stakeholders, generally supporters of extensive changes to our laws. 

Assisted suicide in the U.S.

Q: What’s the status of assisted suicide legislation in the U.S.?

Elliott: Last year there were bills of some kind in about half of the states.  They were defeated in all but one.  We have to kill every bill, and [assisted suicide advocates] only need to get one through to score a win.  Last year that win was California.  Assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont and now California. Euthanasia is not legal anywhere in the U.S.

Q: Did the suicide of Brittany Maynard have any effect on legislative efforts? [See Maggie Karner’s message to Maynard, delivered shortly before Maynard’s death.]

Elliott: Yes.  The media glamorized this beautiful young woman with her tragic story for their own gain.  I feel sorry for her.  Those surrounding her gave her no hope.  They only encouraged her to commit suicide.  Her own mother and husband… are now going around as witnesses at hearings to bring this legislation to others.

Assisted suicide: “abusive in its very nature”

Q: What would you say to someone who’s unfamiliar with assisted suicide legislation? Why should someone care?

Elliott: Assisted suicide/euthanasia is abusive in its very nature.  To suggest that someone kill themselves is abuse, and that is exactly what we do when we put these laws in place.  
        [Assisted suicide] laws are ripe for elder abuse.  Generally, your heir can sign you up [for advance directives] and speak for you. There is no witness required at the death [caused by prescribed-suicide drugs], so if the lethal dose was given against the patient’s will, no one would know.  And then the death certificate is falsified to say the person died of natural causes, leaving any prosecution for wrongdoing impossible.  [Editor’s note: assisted suicide legislation often includes a provision barring mention of “suicide” as cause of death following ingestion of prescribed-suicide drugs.] 
      It is also aimed at the disabled.  While young healthy people are counseled against suicide, disabled people are encouraged to commit suicide.  Think about it:  just having a doctor or nurse suggest that you might want to consider suicide is abusive.  
     Another huge problem is that doctor predictions [about life expectancy with terminal illness] can be wrong. Many people are alive years and decades after they were told there was no hope. With assisted suicide and euthanasia on the table, they could throw away their lives.  In Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, state-run Medicaid Insurance has denied coverage for medical treatment while offering to pay for a lethal dose of drugs.  This should send a chill up all our spines.  Oregon also seems to be showing signs of suicide contagion; rates have risen since legalization.  
     Assisted suicide /euthanasia are dangerous public policy and should be rejected. This proposed commission is just a Trojan Horse to bring these policies to New Hampshire.   

Gimme Shelter

5 thoughts on “A veteran NH prolifer on end-of-life-study bill: “just a Trojan horse”

  1. Nancy is a passionate and eloquent champion for life, we are fortunate to have her. Even if a study commission is set up, we’ve seen from recent experience with the abortion statistics commission, that it doesn’t necessarily mean the bill will pass. The debate and the arguments for and against will be the same as we have heard for years. The solution is, as always, to elect more representatives who value the sanctity of life.

    1. You’re right on target about electing more life-affirming representatives. I think paying attention to state-level elections may be the best political thing a pro-life voter can do this year.

  2. The good news is that 95% stand against legalization once they learn how the law is written with loopholes. I take exception to the polling on legalizing assisted suicide.
    I have found (serving 60 fair booth days) that about half of the public thinks they are in favor of such a law, that is until they learn about the flaws in the laws that create new paths of elder abuse with immunity. Once they learn that a predatory heir may steer the signup process and then forcibly administer the lethal dose without oversight, they all said, “I am not for that!”.
    Anyway all of these Oregon Model bills have the same flaws that work together to eviscerate flaunted safe guards.
    For example how many times have you nodded your head when the proponents declared that the lethal dose must be self-administered?
    Well, read the language of the law/bill and you will find that there is no means provided to insure that marketing point. For example “self-administrate” was mentioned 11 times in the 8 page Minnesota SF 1880 and yet there was no means provided to confirm that the lethal dose was forced on not, who would know if they struggled and not consented.
    In fact what is provided is that there may be no investigations allowed after the death (page 6 of 8 Subd. 12. In addition allowing a stranger that claims to know how the person communicates may speak for them eviscerates all the intended safeguards, page 1 of 8 (e).
    Along with allowing predatory heirs and staff to witness even as other family members are not required to be contact.

    This is a very dangerous public policy that by their own records in OR and WA is establishing poisoning as the “medical standard of care” for people that have “feelings” of fear of the loss of autonomy.
    We are all at risk of abuse by these poorly composed laws/bills.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Bradley Williams
    President
    MTaas dot org

    1. Thanks for your insights, Bradley, and thanks for the work you and your fellow Montanans have done to resist assisted suicide legislation.

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