Stephanie Packer, a mom fighting a terminal lung disease, explains why she opposes California's Senate Bill 128
June 24, 2015 7:30PM ET
by Stephanie Packer - Posted by Al Jazeera America
In the past year, lawmakers in two dozen states have put controversial end-of-life bills up for debate. Across the country, there is growing support to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a prescription pill, but only five states now allow medically assisted suicide. In California, a bill that could legalize medically assisted suicide is making its way through the state Legislature. Stephanie Packer, who is battling a terminal lung disease, says she thinks passing it would be a huge mistake.
In 2012, after suffering a series of debilitating lung infections, a doctor diagnosed me with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that causes a hardening of the skin and, in some cases, other organs. Given the progression of my disease, my doctor told me that I had three years to live.
June 17, 2015
The Associated Press
AUGUSTA – Maine lawmakers have defeated a bill that would have allowed doctors to provide lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients.
Republican Sen. Roger Katz’s bill died Tuesday because the Senate and House failed to agree on the bill.
The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly rejected the bill with an 18-17 vote earlier this week. The Democratic-led House supported it with a 76-70 vote.
Katz and other supporters said that people who don’t have much time left to live should be free to end their life when they are ready. But opponents said lawmakers should focus on expanding access to palliative care. They said they feared it would send the message that the state of Maine condones suicide.
Five states currently allow dying patients to end their lives under a doctor’s care.
A George Soros-backed effort in California has stalled, the latest sign of weak backing for the deadly practice.
Published by - The Wall Street Journal
In the past 20 years, more than 100 campaigns to legalize assisted suicide have been introduced in various states. All but three have failed.
In 2012 the same Massachusetts voters who elected Elizabeth Warren and re-elected Barack Obama gave the thumbs down to doctor-assisted suicide. Compassion & Choices—the “death with dignity” organization formerly called the Hemlock Society—saw a 40-point lead in Massachusetts polls evaporate on election day, despite millions of dollars in campaign spending. Bills this year in Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado also failed after legislators took a closer look at assisted suicide.