Next Stop For Assisted Suicide Legislation: Massachusetts

“This is life-or-death, people. Solidarity.”

John Kelly of Not Dead Yet has made his way to a lot of places – including New Hampshire’s State House – to fight assisted suicide bills. He has had to fight in his own home state, Massachusetts. He’s been successful. And still, the bills keep coming back. September 26 in Boston: I’ll be there.

From John Kelly’s recent Facebook post:

Massachusetts State House, Boston.

ASSISTED SUICIDE HEARING! Tuesday, September 26th, 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., Massachusetts State House. The Joint Committee on Public Health will be having a public hearing on assisted suicide bills H. 1194 /S.1225.
We win when we show up. All devalued communities are under threat: disabled people, people of color, old people, ill people, LGBTQ people, poor people, autistic people, people experiencing depression, abused people, and more. Even wealthy people are endangered because family might care more about inheriting an estate than caring for a seriously ill person. And everyone is at risk for misdiagnosis.
We need you to come testify for 3 minutes, or come and support people who are testifying . Everyone who comes will be making a difference!
Wealthy proponent group [C]ompassion & [C]hoices thinks they can pass the bill. Let’s say different with people power!
This is life-or-death, people. Solidarity.

Solidarity is right. I’ve worked against such bills in Concord. I’ve traveled to Boston and Hartford to stand by New England neighbors tackling their own state’s bills. The victories, meaning the defeats of assisted suicide legislation, happen after hearing rooms fill up with people who hate the better-dead-than-disabled ethic.

John wrote, we win when we show up. True, as is the reverse: the day we don’t show up is the day we lose.


 

Weekend reading: Safe Havens; remembering children; Oregon’s assisted suicide data

A few links to recent online stories from other sources:

Baby safe havens exist so that every mother has life-affirming options (liveactionnews.org)

In the wake of a baby’s horrific death in Nebraska recently, here’s a timely reminder of Safe Haven laws. New Hampshire has one, allowing newborns to be safely surrendered at public safety facilities or hospitals.

“Please Help Me Remember The Children I Have Lost To Miscarriage” (thefederalist.com)

“Having lost three children to miscarriage, one of my biggest fears is that my children will be forgotten. I am not looking for me or my miscarriages to be remembered—I am looking for my children to be remembered.” Read the rest of the post here.

Oregon Assisted Suicide Report Shows Law is Rife with Abuse (lifenews.com)

Diane Coleman of Not Dead Yet, writing at LifeNews.com, notes that even with sketchy information, the official reporting about Oregon’s assisted suicide law is cause for alarm. “The Oregon assisted suicide data demonstrates that people who were not actually terminal received lethal prescriptions in all 18 reported years except the first, and that there is little or no substantive protection against coercion and abuse. Moreover, reasons for requesting assisted suicide that sound like a ‘cry for help’ with disability-related concerns are apparently ignored.” Read the rest of the post here.


 

Weekend reading, 5/13/16: Mercy, a response to “Little Thing,” NDY turns 20

Here are three of my favorite posts from other blogs from the past week, to enjoy after you’ve caught up on Leaven for the Loaf. Have a great weekend!

Amy Brooks: Dear brave soul standing outside Planned Parenthood… (prayerwinechocolate.com)

“…since you are judged by so many, yet you choose to stand there for a cause that many people avoid discussing – you are certainly brave. Well brave one – I am going to challenge you to put your thick skin on, because this message isn’t going to be a ‘let me just congratulate you’ post. I am going to ask that however you stand there,  whether it is with a rosary, a sign or just a quiet presence; whether you sidewalk counsel or silently make a statement . . . I am calling you to  ‘add more Mercy’.” View the post…

Roland Warren: Little things I wish she knew (video link from care-net.org)

“In our latest Life Chat, Roland Warren responds to the open letter, Little Thing, and discusses the dangerous implications of the recent shift in pro-choice rhetoric from denying the humanity of the unborn child to calling it a ‘life worth sacrificing.'” View the post

Not Dead Yet celebrates 20 years of resistance to assisted suicide and euthanasia (notdeadyet.org)

“In addition to direct action tactics, Not Dead Yet has continued using the full array of advocacy strategies, including filing friend-of-the-court briefs in over ten cases, two with the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to briefs arguing against a constitutional right to assisted suicide, NDY has filed briefs in support of efforts to protect people with disabilities from involuntary withholding of life sustaining medical treatment by guardians or health providers, and in support of regulations protecting the right of disabled newborns to medical treatment.” View the post…


Gimme Shelter

Pass it on: a statement of solidarity during Suicide Prevention Month

emblem from suicidepreventionlifeline.org

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and allies in the anti-euthanasia coalition have something to say about that. They invite you to consider what they’re saying and perhaps add your voice to theirs. Reject the idea of better-dead-than-disabled.

Not Dead Yet, the disability rights group that has played a huge role in beating back assisted suicide legislation, has issued A Statement of Solidarity in Observance of Suicide Prevention Month. Here are some excerpts:

The concern of the disability, military and veterans, and aging communities in suicide prevention is understandable in view of research regarding rates and reasons, which consistently show these groups at increased risk….[We] Believe disability is a natural part of the human experience and a form of human diversity, and we reject the notion that disability is a fate worse than death. [We] Believe dignity is innate in every life and eschew the notion that dignity can only be achieved or reclaimed by extinguishing life.

The statement is well worth reading in full. (While you’re at it, peruse the rest of the Not Dead Yet blog.) This is not crisis intervention; it’s an invitation to attitude adjustment. If you wish to add your name to the statement, email Not Dead Yet at NDYOutreach@gmail.com before close of business on September 25.

Et Cetera: week ending 11/23/14

Yesterday’s East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide was a splendid event, and I’ll share more about it in upcoming posts. For this weekend’s collection of short items, though, I recommend you add these people and organizations to your social media feeds for ongoing information. This is not a comprehensive list of resources, but it should keep you busy for now.

Alex Schadenberg (courtesy EPC Facebook page)
Alex Schadenberg (courtesy EPC Facebook page)

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, led by executive director Alex Schadenberg, has become an indispensable resource for anyone investigating the status of assisted suicide and euthanasia laws worldwide. Alex is based in Canada, but his work keeps him traveling to the United States and beyond. Follow the EPC blog at alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca, “like” EPC’s Facebook page, and follow @AlexSchadenberg and @EuthanasiaPC on Twitter.

The Family Institute of Connecticut’s involvement in the defeat of Connecticut’s assisted suicide bill this year was notable. Web site: www.ctfamily.org. Twitter: @FICaction.

Maggie Karner, maker of the best YouTube video we’ll see all year, is on Twitter @Karnerms.

Not Dead Yet  (or as the heading for their web site says, Not Dead Yet: The Resistance) is a disability rights group that frankly and rightly sees assisted suicide and euthanasia as tools of discrimination against people with disabilities. Web site: www.notdeadyet.org. John Kelly is NDY’s New England regional director, Boston-based, and his Twitter feed @JohnBrianKelly aggregates a number of news stories and blog posts about discrimination against people with disabilities.

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A few selections from this week’s news feed: Dave Andrusko from National Right to Life on Two women facing terminal brain disease, two profoundly different legacies …Margaret Dore, a Washington State elder law attorney who has traveled to New Hampshire to help fight assisted suicide bills here, takes note of an assisted suicide bill now being considered in New Jersey … New to Twitter, or simply looking for ways to convey your pro-life message on your social media accounts? American Life League has some suggestions …Abby Johnson answers the question she still gets about how she could stay at PP as long as she did.

May your preparations for Thanksgiving go smoothly!