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?