People Who Are Not Dying Could Qualify For Assisted Suicide

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“My husband has suffered from Type I Diabetes his entire life. He is an otherwise healthy, 67-year-old man, but if he chose to stop treating his disease or the insurance company denied coverage for his insulin, he would qualify for assisted suicide under New York’s proposed bill,” says Linda Koenig (Brockport, NY).

Think that could never happen? “Terminal” in Oregon’s assisted suicide legislation has been interpreted to mean “with or without” treatment. This definition leaves individuals with disabilities wide open to potential abuse. 

According to annual reports, the list of conditions eligible for assisted suicide in Oregon has grown over the years to include: “endocrine/metabolic disease (e.g., diabetes), arthritis, arteritis, sclerosis, stenosis…” However, people with many such conditions would not die, if properly treated. The expansive definition of “terminal” in assisted suicide laws includes a great many people with disabilities who could live for decades with proper treatment.

We must not allow this to happen here. The New York State Legislature should reject physician-assisted suicide legislation.

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