N.H. “End of Life Study” Bill Advances Without Protective Language

The New Hampshire House voted 214-140 to pass HB 291, establishing a committee to study end-of-life care. Sponsors of the bill made clear when the bill was introduced that if passed, the study committee would consider assisted suicide as one type of “care.”

The House rejected an amendment from Rep. Barbara Griffin that would have prevented assisted suicide from being a topic in the study. The vote on that was 146-208.

The bill now goes to the Senate. No hearing date has been announced.

More background on HB 291 here.

House Vote Thursday: Don’t Let Assisted Suicide Be Part of End-of-Life Study

It’s back: here’s another bill to “study” end of life issues, introduced by New Hampshire legislators who are open about their determination to include assisted suicide in any such study. HB 291 is scheduled for a House vote on Thursday, March 14.

(Update, March 14: bill was passed without amendment.) 

The House Judiciary Committee majority voted ought to pass on the bill. A minority on the committee is recommending an amendment to the bill that preserves the intent of studying palliative and other end-of-life care, while excluding any possibility of the bill being used to advance assisted suicide.

I’m going to contact my representatives to support “ought to pass with amendment” on HB 291, using amendment #2019-0767h. The committee minority report written by Rep. Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown) says in part,

The minority believes that the bill also sends a message of suicide being acceptable in a time where concerns on rising rates of suicide and work for suicide prevention are the focus of other bills and an existing Council on Suicide Prevention. Similar legislation has been before this body before and has been vetoed twice by [former] Governor Hassan. The minority believes this bill should be amended to focus the committee work on palliative and hospice care for the populations dealing with not only end of life, but also complex health and disability issues.

I’ve lost count of the pro-assisted suicide bills that have gone down to defeat or veto in our state. I say add HB 291 to that list, unless it’s amended to exclude assisted suicide as an item on the “health care” menu.

You can find your representatives’ names and contact information at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/default.aspx.

SB 490: “A Thinly Veiled Effort to Study Assisted Suicide”

Nancy Elliott wasted no time sending a message to the New Hampshire Senate committee considering SB 490, the “end of life” study bill. The bill’s sponsor made her assisted suicide advocacy clear in her own testimony, if not in her bill. Elliott, a former New Hampshire legislator who is now heads up Euthanasia Prevention Coalition – USA, responded with written testimony. It was published in full on EPC’s blog. Here’s an excerpt.

Nancy Elliott (photo by Ellen Kolb)

I am opposed to SB490 because it is a thinly veiled effort to study Assisted Suicide, also known as death with dignity, medical aid in dying, euthanasia and mercy killing, with the intent to legalize it in New Hampshire. Our state has a long standing bipartisan opposition to Assisted Suicide. This practice is discriminatory to the disabled and elderly, sending them the message that they are not as valuable as able bodied people. While young and healthy individuals receive suicide counseling, the elderly, sick and disabled are steered to take their lives.

I know this bill is for a STUDY, but studying things that would be harmful if passed is a waste of taxpayer money and runs the risk of giving legitimacy and momentum to this practice….I believe that this commission is dangerous to our citizens because the report that will come out, will indicate an imaginary mandate for Assisted Suicide.

Read the full post here.

Pro-Life Conference March 18 in Rochester NH

The Works of Mercy ministry at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish in Rochester, New Hampshire has put together another program (they’re good at this sort of thing) exploring the life issues. This time, the topic is assisted suicide and euthanasia, which threaten the very nature of end-of-life care.

WOM COL FLYER 2017 REVISED

WOM-COL-Registration-Form-2017


Two of the five speakers are well-known to me: Nancy Elliott is the director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA, and Kurt Wuelper is a state representative. Nancy is a neighbor of mine, a former state rep, and I don’t think anyone in this neck of the woods knows more than she does about the status of end-of-life legislation nationwide. Kurt has proven adept at one of the harder political jobs: not just getting elected, but getting RE-elected. Kurt is on one of the toughest committees in Concord: House Judiciary, where he is a voice of reason.

This should be a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday. Details as I’ve been advised:

Where: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church, 189 N. Main Street, Rochester NH

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Schedule: For those who wish, there will be a Mass at 8:00 a.m. All conference participants are welcome to breakfast during registration time beginning at 8:30. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

Cost & Registration: $15, with scholarships available; payment by March 15 is appreciated. Make out checks to OLHR, and mail them with registration form (linked above) to Works of Mercy c/o OLHR, 189 N. Main Street, Rochester NH 03867.

For more information, contact Nancy at worksofmercynh@gmail.com.

Spread the word, especially to your friends on the Seacoast and in Strafford County.

Weekend reading, only slightly political

If you’ve missed these best-of-the-rest posts this week, enjoy them this weekend!

Christina Chase: A Personal Plea Against Assisted Suicide (catholicsuncook.org)

This is on the web site for St. John the Baptist parish in Suncook, New Hampshire, written by a woman with chronic illness who understands the threat assisted suicide legislation poses to people with disabilities. “When voters, legislators, or judges make assisted suicide the law, it becomes an option for all terminally ill people in the state who are told that they have less than six months to live. And this option will be offered. Make no mistake about it. Those who push for this kind of legislation, and healthcare workers who support it, believe that they are being compassionate toward those who are suffering….But, there will be terminally ill people who will not want to speed up the dying process, people who will want to simply live until the natural end of their lives.  These people will be offered the ‘dignified’ way out – and they will need to say No.” Read the rest of the post. 

Jewels Green: Grandmother,  interrupted (lifesitenews.com)

“I’ve heard innumerable women share their stories of regret and conversion after their abortions. Many friends have talked about what they imagine their children might have been like had they been born and not aborted….I guess I never followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion. My missing baby is now a missing adult, and I find myself gripped by thoughts of missing grandchildren.” Read the rest of the post. 

Joan Frawley Desmond: Justice Clarence Thomas Marks a Quarter Century on the Supreme Court (ncregister.com) 

“‘He is a living testament to the principle that every man and woman has the right to think for themselves. regardless of their gender, race, religion or other personal characteristics.'” Read the rest of the post. 

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers: Chinese Family Hides to Escape Forced Abortion of Third Child

“In a triumph of investigative journalism, the BBC has released a Report, ‘China’s forbidden babies still an issue,’ confirming that under the Two-Child Policy, forced abortion remains a threat for women pregnant with a third child.  In this Report, John Sudworth, the BBC’s Beijing Correspondent, interviews the father of a family in hiding because his wife has just given birth to their third child.  The Report describes the man as ‘anxious and on edge, but still determined to tell his story.'” Read the rest of the post.