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Legalization of physician-assisted suicide is failing to gain momentum.  In 2007 there were three major failures in state legislatures for pro-suicide groups. 

 

  • Hawaii: In February, a Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) bill was defeated. The Hawaiian House Health Committee voted 6-1 against recommending the bill for any further action. 

 

  • Vermont: In March, the Vermont House voted down a PAS initiative.  After spending hours of debate on the issue, members voted 82-63 against the proposal.

 

  • CaliforniaOn June 7th, PAS legislation, Assembly Bill 374, was shelved in the California Assembly due to lack of support.  A similar measure had died in the Senate Health Committee last year. 

 

The common theme for all of these recent PAS defeats has been testimony from individuals and organizations opposing PAS, specifically from physicians but also from nurses, other health care professionals, individuals with disabilities, and other concerned citizens. 

Physicians are a key component to the successful opposition of assisted suicide as they have a clear message that physician-assisted suicide: 

  • undermines trust in the patient-physician relationship
  • changes the societal role of the physician from healer to executioner
  • endangers the value that society places on life, specifically for those who are most vulnerable

 


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