When the doctor prescribed suicide question first made the ballot, the Boston Globe ran an article, "Choice vs Religion". We knew from other states that one of the main arguments of the death lobby is painting any opposition to DPS as backward thinking by the heavily financed Catholic Church. The Globe front page article today, obviously, is laying the groundwork to go on the attack.
We need to comment and to vote in the survey! As I write we are BEHIND 75% - 22%.
Please vote now!
Today the Globe Magazine "covered" Doctor-Prescribed Suicide. Before you do anything else, I need you to vote in the poll which accompanies the article. When I voted, the opponents of Doctor-Prescribed Suicide were at 8% (you'll see why when you read the article). Here is the link. http://www.boston.com/lifestyl...
Please vote immediately and spread the word.
After you vote, you should read the article and consider writing a Letter to the Editor or posting a comment. The article starts with a picture of the woman who had to get her father well enough to go back to Oregon so he could kill himself. We saw her at the State House and on the Emily Rooney show. I expect she'll be all over TV ads come fall. There are three other pictures in the article. The one of the proponent is a beautiful cameo. The one of our beautiful nurse is so unflattering even those of us who know her well wouldn't recognize her.
We need letters to the Editor countering the Globe slant. firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb O'Hara Rusckowski, John Kelly, and Mark Rollo make excellent points. You could write reiterating or elaborating on one of their points or you could refute some of the points made by the other side.
The box explaining the procedure is noticeable. It stops when the lethal prescription is picked up. That way it doesn't have to deal with lack of safeguards, the indignity involves ingesting 100 capsules, etc.
Also, their polls claim everyone supports DPS when, in fact, it has failed to pass at least 125 times in State Legislatures and four times as a ballot question. It has been voted into only two states.
Twice they stress that the doctor must judge the person making the request to be competent, but no mention is made of whether the doctor must check for and treat depression.
The following links are amazingly helpful. I had planned to send them to you anyway but you will see they are just what we need for responding to the Globe.
Please send us a copy of your letter and any letters you can encourage others to write. This is very important! email@example.com Thank you, Anne
Just in on doctor-prescribed suicide in Vermont: After 2 1/2 hours of debate, some on process, but
most on substance, a vote was taken. 18 - 11.
Our people said, "The proponents arguments failed to persuade"
A win in Vermont for DPS would probably have meant certain passage here.
Our folks in Vermont are amazing. We owe them a huge "THANKS"
I am going to ask the Vermont leaders to speak at the MCFL Convention on June 9th. We have to do what they did! Anne
News just in from the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare:
"Following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing held this past week, the Committee Chair, Senator Dick Sears had intended to hold an up or down vote today on whether or not S. 103 (the bill that would legalize doctor-prescribed suicide) would pass out of committee and eventually head for a floor vote.
Sen. Sears announced to the full Senate this afternoon that S 103 will not be coming out of his committee this session. The only way it could move is to attach it to another bill which is possible, but difficult."
I think the Vermont legislature will not be in session in time to bring this up before Massachusetts votes on Nov 6th. This is a huge victory for the Alliance in Vermont and a huge obstacle we have dodged. A great start for the weekend! Anne
The people in Vermont have been holding up DPS legislation for about two years in the face of a governor who ran with it as his top priority. Their session is winding down, so I checked with them, hoping they were home safe for this session. This is what I received:
"Anne, the Chair of Senate Judiciary has just sent notice that he will hold hearings on the bill - we are working like crazy right now to flood the Senators with calls and get people to the SH next week - there will be some press attention and the bill could move to the floor - we have some powerful people on our side and some strong forces against us - I hope we can hold them off, especially for your sake, but as you know, we have always been in danger here - we're working hard and praying up another miracle - we'll know by the end of next week what we face."
Mary's reference to "for your sake" is so scary! Just think how much harder it will be for us to fight DPS if the Vermont legislature legalizes it. Just think of the PR advantage it will give the pro-death lobby in Massachusetts. I have been praying this morning for Vermont. I hope you will join me. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything. Thank you, Anne
The doctor-prescribed suicide initiative is just too dangerous. There are many problems with this initiative; let's discuss two. First, there is a high potential for elder abuse. The initiative does not require a "disinterested" witness to be present while the lethal drug is being administered.
Without a "disinterested" witness, there is an opportunity for the patient's heir or someone who will benefit from the patient's death to give the dose without the patient's consent. How will we know? Also, the death certificate does not list physician-assisted suicide as the cause of death but the underlying illness that the patient originally requested supposedly. We will never know how many seniors are dying from this.
The second problem is that suicide doses are very inexpensive. What temptation! Does the insurance company provide for the expensive cancer treatment or do they kindly let you know they won't cover the cancer treatment but they will cover for the suicide dosages? Seem too far-fetched? This has already happened in Oregon, which is one of the two states that have passed misguided suicide initiatives.
Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup both requested cancer treatment their doctors recommended to help extend their lives. Both received letters from their insurance coverage companies stating they decided not to comply with the doctor's requests, but kindly offered to cover the suicide dosages, which only cost approximately $50. Where is the patient's ability to make choices? It is a play on words. Physician-assisted suicide will offer some insurance companies a cost-saving measure.
Are you ready for this? Don't you think this is just a little too dangerous to unleash here in Massachusetts? By the way, the organization that is supporting this initiative, Compassion and Choices, is the old Hemlock Society. New name but same game!
Margaret Dore has sent the following:
Here's a case that illustrates Bea Martins' concerns all too well. Doctors and health care facilities already have far too much leeway that permits them to end people's lives - even when there is no medical reason for it. Read this chilling story about institutional elder abuse:
And watch the YouTube video showing this same woman just days before her death, which occurred under suspicious circumstances, in the same institution that was and is still under investigation for attempted murder by morphine overdose of the woman several months earlier:
Yesterday's hearings at the State House were impressive.
Representative Eugene O'Flaherty, House Chair of the Judiciary Committee, ran the hearings very efficiently. More than 50 people testified in opposition to Doctor Prescribed Suicide. They covered the range of reasons to oppose the bills. Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide taped the hearings. I understand MAADPS will have those and the written testimony on their web site momentarily, http://stopassistedsuicide-ma....
There were only a hand-full of proponents. Apparently, since they know the petition will be on the ballot, they decided to keep their powder dry. There was an interesting contrast. The proponents spoke emotionally about people in difficult situations which, they claim, necessitates changing the law. Opponents talked about what we can do for people in difficult situations and about all the specific problems with the bill.
Rep. John Rogers of Norwood stated, "I think we as a society, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, using our intellect and our ingenuity and combined energies, we define ourselves not by allowing our citizens to die with dignity but by empowering our citizens to live with dignity while they're dying, And in that distinction, we define ourselves as a great, humane society."
Rep Keiko Orrall, Lakeville, reminded the Committee that this is an issue of life, which is precious.
The disability community, lead by John Kelly and Karen Schneiderman, fielded a number of panels. They covered all aspects of the issue, showing the dangers to vulnerable people - the disabled, the elderly, the ill. They pointed out that a life lived with dignity is what allows a person to die with dignity. John said the law is unnecessary because patients already have control over their destiny with the ability to refuse any life-saving treatments and through advanced directives.
John Norton shared that he had been diagnosed with ALS 58 years ago, pointing out that a prognosis can be wrong.
Maggie Murphy of the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts, reported that the state's 59 licensed hospices served more than 21,000 terminally ill patients in 2011, and eight hospices served about 235 children.
Laura Tuttle, RN, a hospice nurse who has ALS, spoke beautifully, saying, "I will most likely die from respiratory failure within the next few years. But I am not afraid of dying because I know all of my needs will be taken care of by hospice professionals."
Lynda Young, MD, Barbara Rocket, MD, Leonard Morse, MD, and Henry Dorkin, MD spoke on behalf of the Massachusetts Medical Society. Dr. Young, President of the MMS reported, "At the Medical Society's most recent House of Delegates meeting, which is the Society's policy making body, there was overwhelming support to reaffirm the Medical Society's long standing policy of opposition to physician-assisted suicide. As the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics states, 'It is understandable although tragic, that some patients in extreme duress...may come to decide that death is preferable to life. However, allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician's role as healer.'"
Another panel of doctors was also very impressive: Helen Jackson, MD, Gil Lavoie, MD, Mark Rollo, MD, and Alexandra Cist,MD, who pointed out that one result of the legislation would be to drive people away from palliative care by making them afraid to use it.
Among the others who testified and made points about the glaring shortcomings in the wording of the petition, and about the lack of respect for human life which would result were Hope Hallett, RN, Deb O'Hara-Rusckowski, RN, Elaine Luzzetti, RN, Michelina DiMartino, a licensed pharmacist, Mary Roque, Esq, Pat Stewart, Esq, Bob Joyce, Esq, and Andrew Beckwith, Esq. Margaret Dore, Esq, flew in from Washington State and presented a detailed legal analysis of the bill. Nancy Elliott, former New Hampshire State Rep, who has been through the battle, came for moral support.
Jim Dixon, Christine LeBlanc, Marie O'Donnell, Kris Mineau, Ed Shanahan, and I also testified. Jim made the point that this petition would be death to dignity and reminded committee members about the loved ones left behind. Many other people whom I did not know spoke and many, many of you submitted written testimony.
As usual, you all came through amazingly! It is such a pleasure to work with people who care about life and are willing to do the work to protect life. Anne
Robin Loughman, Chair of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide, has asked us to send you the request below.
If you reply to us, we'll be happy to forward. I am excited to see all the good ideas out there.
Many of you have offered to testify in person on Tuesday or to submit written testimony against H3884.
The testimony we have seen is excellent. The points people are making will be very helpful for everyone. Your testimony is worth posting on our website nodoctorprescribedsuicide.com so that the rest of us can benefit from the points you make.
Please email your testimony by pressing "reply" so that is can go on the site.
Robin Loughman, Chair, MADDPS
Also, another hearing has just been scheduled for Thursday, March 8th! It is about our bill which will allow you to check off to have your tax money, which currently pays for abortion, to be used instead to fund the Baby Safe Haven program.
This is a win/win bill. If you are able to come to the State House again, that would be wonderful. If not, would you drop a brief email supporting H 1683 to The Joint Committee on Revenue (Chairs: Rep. Jay Kaufman, Jay.Kaufman@mahouse.gov and Sen. Katherine Clark Katherine.Clark@masenate.gov).
With these hearings, all of our bills in the Massachusetts legislature will have been heard for this session. Thank you for all you have done on these bills and on federal legislation, which is no where nearly done!
They say the performance of the stock market in January predicts the rest of the year. If attendance at Student Lobby Day predicts how our pro-life work will go for 2012, things will be very good! The youngsters kept coming and coming and coming - from as far as the First Congressional District to as close as Brighton. Attendance was four to five times that of last year, which was our first year. We could not have dealt with a bigger crowd and given them the tour and visits. We are considering offering field trips during school next year as well.
We are most grateful to Reps. Sheila Harrington, Groton, and Matthew Beaton, Shrewsbury, who each spent a great deal of time with the youngsters and shared with them the pro-life way they look at legislation and procedures. Also, Eva Murphy did an excellent job coordinating and making it all run smoothly. And I enjoy very much touring our beautiful State House with the youngsters. A good day was had by all and we look forward to expanding next year. I'll let you know when pictures are posted in the MCFL website. Anne
-Meet and hear prolife legislators
-Learn about prolife legislation
-Learn dangers of Doctor Prescribed Suicide Bill.
-Find out how to lobby
-Take a tour of the State House
-Enjoy a complimentary lunch
-Visit the offices of your State Representative and Senator.
Meet in Room 437
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (617)242-4199
PHARMACISTS OPPOSED TO DPS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2012, 9:30 - 11:30
MASSACHUSETTS CITIZENS FOR LIFE OFFICE
SCHRAFFT CENTER, 529 MAIN STREET, CHARLESTOWN
DPS threatens you as a pharmacist because there is no conscience protection for you. The legislature just announced the March 6th hearings. There isn't time for separate meetings of the various professions, so we are inviting you and nurses to the MCFL office this Saturday. There will be a presentation about the DPS, how to form professional groups to fight the ballot question, and we hope, the formation of groups of pharmacists and nurses.
Please invite all the pharmacists and nurses you know.
RSVP: Press "reply" or call 617-242-4199 X230 . Please let us know even if you can't come so that we can keep you informed. I'm looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. Anne
The Georgia legislature reacted to the atrocious activities of Jack Kavorkian by passing a law that made it a crime to publicly state that you would help someone commit suicide. They would have been wiser to have outlawed "assisting" someone to kill themselves, as thirty-nine other states have done. http://www.nationalreview.com/...
Does this ruling impact on the doctor prescribed suicide bill, H3884 and ballot question here in Massachusetts? Not legally. There could still be a problem, however. If the proponents are able to frame the question as though the Georgia law actually outlawed doctor prescribed suicide they could then claim that the current situation in Massachusetts, where doctor prescribed suicide is against common law, is unconstitutional and must be corrected. Note that suicide and attempted suicide are not illegal in the Commonwealth.
It is up to us to stress that we are not trying to change Massachusetts law, just to keep the state from approving, and thereby encouraging, doctors to prescribe lethal drugs.
I am very proud of your level of commitment to spreading the word about DPS. I hear back and know that you are really getting people to talk about it. Please keep up your good work. Anne
NB, if you are a doctor, please visit www.doctorsagainstsuicide.comwww.doctorsagainstsuicide.com. Drs. John Howland, Mark Rollo, and many others are doing a stellar job of identifying doctors across the state who are opposed to DPS. I know you will want to work with them.< /p>
If you are a lawyer, you are invited to the MCFL office at the Schrafft Center in Charlestown at 6:00pm on Thursday, February 9th for a special evening. Jennifer Popik, JD, from the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics in DC, is coming to address legal aspects of the proposed law in Massachusetts. Jennifer and the Center have been involved in all the other states where DPS has come up. She will go into many interesting aspects of the proposal. I hope this will help prepare you to speak out and write Letters to the Editor. Please reply to this email or call 617-242-4199, X 230 to let us know you are coming because we will provide a light supper.
If you are a nurse, please pencil in Saturday morning, March 3rd if you live in Eastern Mass and March 17th if you live in Western Mass.
If you are a pharmacist, please let us know. We are in contact with a few wonderful pharmacists and need to know who else is out there. There is no protection to keep you from being required to fill those deadly prescriptions!
Please pass this along to all doctors, lawyers, nurses, and pharmacists whom you know. Thanks! A.
We just learned that the Judiciary Committee will hear the Bill, which is the same as the ballot question on doctor prescribed suicide, H3884, on March 6th at 1:00pm. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. We will need a major presence. The legislature could pass H3884 and it would be all over.
I listed the wrong date for the lawyer's meeting with Jennifer Popik. The actual date is Thur, Feb 16th at 6:00pm at the MCFL office.
We are changing the date for the nurses' meeting so that you nurses will have more time to reach out before the hearings. There will be another nurses' meeting in the western part of the state later.
Also, because the hearings are close, we invite all pharmacists to attend the nurses' meeting. The process for developing Nurses Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide and the information members need will be the same for the Pharmacists.
All the correct information is now listed below. The actual fight is beginning. We are ready. We need to get moving.
If you are a doctor, please visit www.doctorsagainstsuicide.com. Drs. John Howland, Mark Rollo, and many others are doing a stellar job of identifying doctors in the state who are opposed to DPS. I know you will want to work with them.
If you are a lawyer or law student, you are invited to the MCFL office at the Schrafft Center in Charlestown at 6:00pm on Thursday, February 16th for a special evening. Jennifer Popik, JD, from the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics in DC, is coming to give a legal analysis of the proposed law in Massachusetts. Jennifer and the Center have been involved in all the other states where DPS has come up. She will go into many interesting aspects of the proposal. I hope this will help prepare you to speak out and write Letters to the Editor. Please reply to this email or call 617-242-4199, X 230 to let us know you are coming because we will provide a light supper.
If you are a nurse or a pharmacist or a student in either area, you are invited to the MCFL office at the Schrafft Center in Charlestown from 9:30am to 11:30 am on Saturday, February 18th. We will talk about the petition, it implications for you and what you can do as an individual and as part of a nurses' or pharmacists' group. Please note that retired professionals are every bit as necessary as those still in the field.
There is no protection to keep pharmacists from being required to fill those deadly prescriptions!
Please pass this along to all doctors, lawyers, nurses, and pharmacists whom you know and anyone else who might want to testify. Thanks! Anne
~Meet and hear pro-life legislators
~Learn about pro-life legislation
~Learn dangers of Doctor Prescribed Suicide Bill.
~Find out how to lobby
~Take a tour of the State House
~Enjoy a complimentary lunch
~Visit the offices of your State Representative and Senator.
Meet in Room 437
RSVP to email@example.com or by phone (617)242-4199
Or use our easy registration application on the MCFL website (CLICK HERE)
It used to be the Hemlock Society but that cut too close to the euthanasia bone. People were catching on, so they changed their name to Compassion and Choices and now they brag that we cannot beat them on those two concepts.
National Compassion and Choices paid $85,000 for about 85,000 signatures to get the doctor prescribed suicide petition on the ballot. Now they need to raise more money. It seems that they have rented most every mailing list in Massachusetts. Mildred and Brian and Sandra heard from them. If you aren't yet on their list, you probably will be. Besides raising money, this gives them a chance to educate each person who receives their mailing.
We don't have an out-of-state group who will mail to the homes in the Commonwealth, but we do have you! Each and every one of us must talk constantly to friends and neighbors about the dangers of DPS. Please watch this video from the MCFL Caucus in DC. Please pay close attention. Jennifer shares many excellent points for you to use. http://massprolife.com/videos.... You can do it. Thanks, Anne
The Massachusetts Medical Society will vote tomorrow on a motion to withdraw their opposition to Doctor Prescribed Suicide. They are hearing testimony today. Many of our doctors are testifying. Most of the people who signed the original petition are important members of the MMS, so this is a real battle.
This would give the proponents the chance to say that the MMS has withdrawn its opposition - huge for them!
Please pray very hard today and tomorrow that the MMS will restore its opposition to DPS.
God bless you!
PS. If you would like to be involved in an on-going prayer project, Joanne O'Brien has formed a state-wide Prayer Crusade. Please call Joanne, 508-653-5475.
Physician Assisted Suicide/ Doctor Prescribed Suicide
"WORDS THAT WORK"
Sunday, Nov. 13, Assumption College, Worcester, 12:30pm to 4:30pm, La Maison Francaise Building. This year's Chapter Leadership Conference is different from those in the past. Pro-lifers and anyone who wants to be prepared for this battle are urged to attend.
Monday, Nov 14, St John's Seminary, Brighton, 12 noon - 2:30pm. Lunch in the Refectory. Presentation in the Medeiros Classroom. Clergy and pro-lifers.
Wednesday, Nov 16, St. Stanislaus Hall, Main Street, West Warren, 12 noon to 2:30pm. Clergy and pro-lifers.
NB. All presentations include lunch, so please register at 617-242-4199 X 230 or reply to this email with your name, address and phone number. Be sure to register by three days before the event you plan to attend.
When this issue heats up and your friends are falling for the death arguments, you will be so grateful you had the chance to learn from Rita! Find out more about Rita at http://www.patientsrightscounc...