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Vermont signs euthanasia bill into law
Spero News ^ | 5/20/2013 | Martin Barillas

Posted on 05/21/2013 2:12:00 AM PDT by markomalley

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law what Compassion & Choices, a group that advocates suicide, calls a "breakthrough" moment. In doing so, Shumlin approved a law that, according to the advocacy group, supposedly “will let dying, mentally competent people determine when they have endured enough suffering and empowers them to end their lives with dignity. Specifically, it will provide criminal, civil and professional protections for physicians who prescribe medication to mentally competent, terminally ill patients that they can ingest to achieve a peaceful death.” Vermont is the first state to approve such a law legislatively. "Vermonters who face terminal illness and are in excruciating pain at the end of their lives now have control over their destinies. This is the right thing to do," said Shumlin on May 20.

The law makes Vermont the first state in the eastern United States, and the fourth state nationwide, to have such a law on the books.

In a release, the leader of Compassion & Choices, Barbara Coombs Lee said she approved, saying, "This historic achievement is a political breakthrough that will boost support for death-with-dignity bills nationwide." The Compassion & Choices president, a physician assistant, was the co-author of Oregon’s so-called Death-with-Dignity law and also served as an advisor in successfully passing similar legislation in neighboring Washington State. Both were ballot initiatives passed by popular vote. In 2009, the Supreme Court of Montana ruled in a case brought by Compassion & Choices, Baxter v. Montana, that the mountain state's “public policy supports mentally competent, terminally ill patients being able to choose aid in dying.”

"Gov. Shumlin and Vermont legislators have shattered a barrier by becoming the first politicians to show the courage to enact a death-with-dignity law," added Coombs Lee. "Given the high margin of public support for end-of-life choices nationwide, it is only a matter of time before legislatures in Massachusetts,New Jersey, and other states that are currently considering death-with-dignity bills enact them into law."

The Vermont law will have requirements similar to the Oregon and Washington laws, but the Vermont requirements will expire after a three-year period. It is then that the Vermont law will follow the model in Montana. Since 1997, 673 people have killed themselves in Oregon with drugs prescribed under the law, the Oregon health department reported earlier this year. In Massachusetts, voters narrowly defeated last year a ballot measure to legalize doctor-assisted suicide by a margin of 51-49. Expressing opposition to the measure when it was passed by the Vermont legislature last week, was the Roman Catholic diocese of Burlington. On its website, the diocese stated, “Physician-assisted suicide will forever transform the role of physician from one who preserves life to one who takes life.” The diocese added, “True compassion calls us to embrace those who are dying, not provide them with the means to end their lives.”

The new law allows prescribing lethal substances to patients suffering from “incurable and irreversible disease,” in physicians’ view, and who are expected to live but six months or less. The patient’s physicians must agree that the patient’s diagnosis is terminal and that the patient is capable of informed consent. In order to be prescribed the lethal drugs, patients must request them three times, with a 15-day period between the requests, and then self-administer. Governor Shumlin said in advance of the signing that the law offers Vermonters “a choice to control their destiny and avoid unnecessary suffering.”

Opponents of the bill have said it could encourage people to kill themselves out of fear they are imposing a burden on their family or out of undue influence from potential heirs.

Catholic Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Burlington denounced “doctor-prescribed suicide” in a letter published on January 22. “As we care for the child so must we care for all persons in the vast spectrum of life,” the bishop said. “When we subjectively determine when life begins and ends, when it is viable or not, when it is too burdensome to endure, we begin a path toward self-destruction. Life is no longer precious, but just another commodity in the business of living.”

Bishop Matano expressed the fear that the new law will allow health insurance companies and the government to encourage sick people to end their lives instead of seeking effective treatment. According to the bishop, two such cases have occurred already in states where the form of suicide is legal. Willfully killing those who are sick, disabled or dying, said the bishop, is “morally unacceptable and a tragic offense against life.”

According to USA Today, Bob Ullrich, a board member of Patient Choices Vermont, said of the signing “It means peace of mind and comfort to a lot of people, including me, that I hope no one ever has to use the law, but to know every day of your life that it’s there should such an occurrence happen.” While the venue for the signing was packed with supporters, their were detractors as well. “We’re here as witnesses,” said opponent Carolyn McMurray of a group called True Dignity Vermont is encouraging Vermonters to report abuses of the law. “We believe this bill was drafted hastily.”

Shumlin said that the May 20 signing also takes place on his father's 88th birthday. The governor said that his mother says she supports the new law because it gives her option if she becomes ill and in pain.

Since the law goes into effect immediately, physicians and medical facilities are trying to determine how to participate with the law, even while bureaucrats are coming up with regulations for physicians to follow. Media reports suggest that it is unlikely that any physicians in Vermont will act immediately to terminate their patients.

Within the next 30 days, Vermont's Health Department will prepare guidelines for physicians to follow. They are granted immunity from prosecution if they follow the state's requirements, which include making sure the patient is acting voluntarily and is of sane mind. Those guidelines will expire in three years. The physician directing the state health department supports the new law. Vermont's attorney general plans to discuss with his staff how on how to interpret the law and how his office will cooperate with the health department.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; US: Vermont
KEYWORDS: moralabsolutes

1 posted on 05/21/2013 2:12:00 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

2 posted on 05/21/2013 2:20:19 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Sarah Palin's next run. What'll you do?)
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To: markomalley
Vermont went single-payer Commiecare™. This only speeds up the savings.

I may never understand why leftists desire to kill themselves and others by the quickest means possible.

3 posted on 05/21/2013 2:56:12 AM PDT by Libloather (The epitome of civility.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There are times when I just have to wonder... Why are Democrats so insistent about terminating the lives of the helpless? Both those in the womb and those in the oldest amongst us?


4 posted on 05/21/2013 3:06:28 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: The Working Man

Sign here please.


5 posted on 05/21/2013 3:14:12 AM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Conserev1

First it will require our signatures when we are lucid and competent enough to understand what we are signing, next it will be next of kin, then the state or the IRS as guardian ad litem depending if you meet the “productivity quotient”. Incrementalism. That’s the way they roll.


6 posted on 05/21/2013 3:30:54 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: The Working Man

I remember well when Dick Lamm, the CO governor said what typifies his party’s stance on dying and “getting out of the way.”

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/29/us/gov-lamm-asserts-elderly-if-very-ill-have-duty-to-die.html


7 posted on 05/21/2013 3:43:16 AM PDT by ScottinVA ( Liberal is to patriotism as Kermit Gosnell is to neonatal care.)
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To: The Working Man
Why are Democrats so insistent about terminating the lives of the helpless? Both those in the womb and those in the oldest amongst us?

It's because they are unabashed hedonists, and helpless people get in their way. How can you have a good time if you have babies and Grandma to take care of?

8 posted on 05/21/2013 3:51:08 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Libloather

Follow the money.


9 posted on 05/21/2013 3:51:48 AM PDT by FES0844
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To: Libloather

The world view fears pain, death, and all that. Better to take a pill and die than be uncomfortable.


10 posted on 05/21/2013 3:59:25 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: markomalley
A friend of mine whose mother died at 94 after a cancer bout always said that she wishes her Mother didn't have to suffer the last 3 weeks. She said it was heart breaking especially the process the last few days. I am not saying that I agree with Euthanasia but it sure sucks the last six moths of people's lives in a lot of cases and the last month is the WORST.
11 posted on 05/21/2013 4:08:56 AM PDT by napscoordinator (Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the Country!)
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To: markomalley

What should one do when their spouse begs to be put out of their misery?


12 posted on 05/21/2013 4:23:49 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr
What should one do when their spouse begs to be put out of their misery?

Obviously you throw out the hippocratic oath and bastardize the entire medical industry from one of "doing no harm" to one where we can off those we think are going to die anyway. That slippery slope to offing them without their asking for it, will happen very very quickly afterwards.

13 posted on 05/21/2013 4:26:44 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: All
What a Brave New World Vermont has ahead of them. Really the ITS should be in charge of such a program because of their known compassion.

/s

14 posted on 05/21/2013 4:33:20 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: BipolarBob

ITS should be IRS.


15 posted on 05/21/2013 4:33:41 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: markomalley
The patient’s physicians must agree that the patient’s diagnosis is terminal and that the patient is capable of informed consent. In order to be prescribed the lethal drugs, patients must request them three times, with a 15-day period between the requests, and then self-administer.

Why self-administer? Are they admitting a moral wrong doing if the physician administered for them? And what would that wrongdoing be? There is an admission of evil here but no remedy for it. The physician still cooperates in murder, just one step removed. It is only NOT murder because the state arbitrarily decides to define it that way.

If competent, why have to ask three times separated over 15 days? Here is another admission of evil in this law. They appear to be afraid of making a mistake over competency but so what? Why be afraid of the mistake if the life has no meaning? There are now two classes of citizens here, the competent and the incompetent.

16 posted on 05/21/2013 4:50:57 AM PDT by johniegrad
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To: markomalley

Palliative care is pretty good at keeping the pain as controlled as possible. I understand that is a broad statement, but for the most part it is true. I have experienced end of life care for three relative in the past year. None of them suffered to the point where I felt the need to kill them.

Of course, others mileage may vary.

The key is to take some time to understand the pain options before you get into the middle of it. No one needs to die in pain.


17 posted on 05/21/2013 4:56:57 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?)
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To: Vermont Lt
Palliative care is pretty good at keeping the pain as controlled as possible. I understand that is a broad statement, but for the most part it is true.

Yet Freeper after FReeper have shared their agonizing personal experience that palliative care didn't work for their loved ones.

18 posted on 05/21/2013 5:35:00 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: GeronL

I’m not talking about doctors or institutions, I mean individuals, usually the elder.


19 posted on 05/21/2013 5:41:21 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: johniegrad

It’s probably more to avoid legal crap for the family during and after a very sensitive and personal time.


20 posted on 05/21/2013 5:43:04 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: The Working Man

Because they are inconvenient...


21 posted on 05/21/2013 5:44:24 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: Vermont Lt

It’s a very personal subject, one which should be handled on an individual basis. This may avoid the very impersonal actions of the law during a bad time.


22 posted on 05/21/2013 5:45:13 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr

Who is going to do the euthanizing?

Just anyone?


23 posted on 05/21/2013 5:46:21 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: napscoordinator

My mother was bed-ridden the last three years of her life, developed a bed sore and died of septicemia...
She was put on a morphine drip the last week and died in her sleep...
With the opiates we have today, I’m puzzled why people die in pain.


24 posted on 05/21/2013 5:48:13 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: markomalley
Maybe Shumlin should prove his sincerity on this issue by volunteering to be the first “beneficiary”.Stick out your arm,pal,let them start the IV.At first you'll feel nothing...then you'll start to feel sleepy...and then you'll find out if God really *does* exist and what He thinks of some of your words and deeds during your life.
25 posted on 05/21/2013 5:51:27 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: markomalley

“Hey,Doc...our Grandma’s getting to be a bit of a nuisance...and rumor has it that she got some $$$ stashed away.Whaddya say?”


26 posted on 05/21/2013 5:54:58 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: markomalley
Last November Massachusetts,while giving Osama Obama and Princess Liawatha 60% of the vote,actually voted against an “assisted suicide” question on the ballot.I wonder how Vermonters would vote in a referendum.Of course the state legislature couldn't care less.
27 posted on 05/21/2013 5:58:04 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: Drango

Most of the time that is because people are afraid of managing pain. They have a hero complex. Honest to god, I am not being judge mental. I am imploring anyone that finds themselves looking down the road at a difficult end to do some research and understand what palliative care is all about.

As I said, your mileage may vary. And everyone’s circumstances differ. But having been through this a lot, I feel like I have some expertise to offer.

An educated patient or caregiver is one of your best tools.


28 posted on 05/21/2013 6:06:19 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?)
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To: markomalley

In Holland, nurses are certified by the State to do euthanasia. Predictably and when polled confidentially, they do euthanasia in many instances WITHOUT consent -murder. That’s the slippery slope here, it’s unavoidable.


29 posted on 05/21/2013 6:18:33 AM PDT by Fitzy_888 ("ownership society")
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To: GeronL

I think it should be the spouse or closest relative, if that is the decision.


30 posted on 05/21/2013 6:25:15 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: GeronL

The one’s to do the euthenizing are a branch of planned parenthood, called “Planned Deparenthood.”

Slogan:

“We missed you once, but not again!”


31 posted on 05/21/2013 7:49:33 AM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: LachlanMinnesota

lol. That is pretty good


32 posted on 05/21/2013 9:49:15 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: stuartcr

I don’t mean the decision, I mean who does the deed?

Hopefully not someone in the medical profession


33 posted on 05/21/2013 9:51:09 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: markomalley
Hmm guns kill people but pills just let them slip away.

twisted world we live in.

34 posted on 05/21/2013 9:53:46 PM PDT by Kakaze (I want The Republic back !)
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To: GeronL

The patient themselves, the spouse or next of kin or loved one.


35 posted on 05/22/2013 3:29:31 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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