Pushing back: testimonies against assisted suicide, part 2

Here are some excerpts from press conference and testimony against New Hampshire’s assisted suicide bill, HB 1659. Find part 1 at this link.

Gary Cahoon, owner of assisted living facility

…The current state of palliative care is such that people need not die in pain. None of our residents have ever expressed a regret that they had not had the opportunity to kill themselves at an earlier time.

Aside from death, another unpleasant aspect of life that we have had to deal with is family members who exploit, abuse or neglect a vulnerable person. We have taken in frail elderly people from truly horrific households.  Financial exploitation, however, is much more common than outright abuse. I think for example of the nephew who got his aunt to grant him a financial power of attorney in exchange for a candy bar. I have no doubt that some of the abusers I have dealt with would have readily attempted to persuade or coerce their family member into suicide if they benefited as a result. We should not give the potential abuser one more tool to exploit the vulnerable.

As healthcare providers, my wife and I feel that it is our duty and our mission to help our residents achieve the best possible quality of life and not to help them end their lives. The door to assisted suicide is one which, we believe, should never be opened.

(Mr. Cahoon and his wife own Friendship Manor, an assisted living home in New Ipswich.)

Gary Cahoon of Friendship Manor in New Ipswich, speaking in opposition to HB 1659.

Nancy Elliott, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA

In her testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, Nancy Elliott – former state representative from Merrimack, who once served on the committee herself – took on the references within HB 1659-FN to “mental anguish” and “embarrassing indignities.”

This sounds like a disability. Before I lost my husband, that was the description of him. It is cruel for the state to say that someone like my husband should not want to live and be pushed toward suicide.

Steven Wade, Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire

As you may be aware, suicide has reached epidemic proportions in our state, [with] the number of suicides nearly doubling in NH in the last 10 years. NH DHHS [Department of Health and Human Services] and suicide prevention organizations are working hard to implement a new program of “Zero Suicides” in New Hampshire, along with renewed focus on “Help Seeking”.

HB 1659 is an affront and a contradiction to these suicide prevention efforts and to all the hard work by so many suicide prevention advocates and volunteers in NH.

We will argue that instead of legalizing assisted suicide as medical care, we should be working to greatly expand funding and access to palliative and mental care for those most-at risk for suicide in our state – persons living with life-long disability, veterans living with TBI and PTSD,
at-risk teens, first responders, and elders vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. This also includes many of NH’s low income citizens and persons on Medicaid and under managed care, who do not have access to needed palliative and mental health care.

Steven Wade is executive director of the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire, and facilitator for the Coalition Against State-Approved Suicide.

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.

“Euthanasia Deception” screening 1/21 in Rochester

I’ve seen & recommend this film, The Euthanasia Deception, produced by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Rochester-area readers have a chance to see it January 21 at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary church in Rochester, New Hampshire. Details are in the PDF embedded below.

Download (PDF, 191KB)



 

Weekend reading, 5/27/16: target the mosquito, not the baby

I end each week by offering you three of my favorite recent posts from other blogs. Have a wonderful weekend, and remember why we observe Memorial Day. 

Chuck Donovan: “The enemy remains the disease-ridden mosquito, not the vulnerable baby.” (lozierinstitute.org)

Chuck Donovan of the Lozier Institute introduces us to blogger Ana Carolina Caceres, born with microcephaly. Concerns about how the mosquito-borne Zika virus might cause microcephaly in children exposed to the virus in utero have led to some calls for abortion as a solution. Caceres and Donovan point in another direction: access to treatment for microcephaly. “Born with purportedly grim prospects, [Caceres] is today an accomplished woman, who plays the violin and writes compelling prose. The world needs more people like her, and more people like her mother and other family members, who stayed calm and chose life. Similar to the global response to the polio crisis, the medical community should continue its fight against the Zika virus by refining treatments, decreasing transmission pathways, and ultimately developing a vaccine against Zika.” Read the whole post.


Jay Hobbs: Illinois Bill Forcing Pro-Lifers to Refer for Abortion Sent to Governor’s Desk (pregnancyhelpnews.com)

Business at abortion facilities is apparently so bad that abortion promoters want to co-opt pro-life pregnancy care centers into advertising for them. California has already gone this route (and is now in court over it). Illinois is on the same path.  “While pregnancy help organizations counsel clients and patients on such facts as the baby’s development, and the physical and psychological dangers of abortion, the proposed legislation’s inclusion of a requirement to counsel on the ‘benefits’ of abortion has also raised concern among pro-life opponents to the bill. Although the bill requires pro-life healthcare providers and organizations to participate in abortion, it does not include stipulations that healthcare professionals, institutions, or organizations counsel patients on alternatives to abortion such as parenting or placing for adoption. Similar government-sponsored speech for pregnancy centers has been struck down as unconstitutional in Austin (TX), Baltimore and Montgomery County (MD) and New York City.” Read the whole post. 


Alex Schadenberg: soon-to-be-released film carries better-dead-than-disabled message; “disability death porn”

“The movie Me Before You will be released in theatres across North America on June 3. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is urging its supporters to boycott Me Before You to not give any money to the production of movies that perpetuate the ideology that death is better than living with a disability. This is not a campaign to obstruct free speech, this is a campaign to oppose the ‘disability death porn’ that this movie promotes.” Read the whole post.


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