Lawmakers in Massachusetts are debating today about doctor-assisted suicide.
Today's discussion will take place in the Joint Committee on Public Health, where advocates for the proposal call it “death with dignity” but Andrew Beckwith of Massachusetts Family Institute says the method is still assisted suicide.
“They've been after this for years,” he advises. “They took it to the vote of the people on a ballot referendum in 2012 and it was defeated in large part due to the great work of the Church, particularly the Catholic archdiocese of Boston."
The ballot measure was defeated 51-49 percent after a "ferocious political battle," The Boston Globe reported at the time.
Opponents of the "death with dignity" referundum organized in the final weeks after a poll showed support for the measure, the newspaper reported, and the public was flooded with messages of opposition from religious leaders, pro-life activists, and a physicians group.
The bill requires two witnesses to sign a written request for the lethal drugs. However, one of the witnesses can legally be someone who stands to enjoy an inheritance from the person that is about to die, which creates an obvious scenario for greed.
Beckwith gives one chilling example: a dying woman’s grandson convinces her to swallow the poison pill while scheming with a girlfriend to sign as witnesses. But there is little evidence of their misdeeds.
“There would be no record for the rest of the family members to know what actually happened,” Beckwith says, “because doctors are prohibited from putting anything on the death certificate other than the underlying disease.”
Beckwith expects pushback this time around and is urging the public to contact their legislators and tell them to oppose the “death with dignity” legislation.