To the Editor:
Many Vermonters, including myself, believe that the Legislature is way out of line in taking up the issue of physician-assisted suicide. Which of us sent our legislators to Montpelier to have them pass this?
With all of the things that we need the Legislature to do to help our awesome state thrive, making suicide legal is not one of them. Why are there out-of-state pro-suicide groups working hard, and spending substantial sums of money, right now, in Vermont to get this passed? Apparently, they came here after being rejected in Alaska, Hawaii, California,
Michigan and Maine. There are only four jurisdictions on the entire planet that have espoused this type of policy. There are excellent reasons for this scarcity.
Can you imagine the negative message we would be sending to our struggling youth? Do we want to ask doctors to have to dispense life-ending medications, breaking their age-old role and oath as trusted healer?
Can you picture how much health insurance companies would save by this measure, lining their own pockets? After 20 years, a time-tested experiment in the Netherlands, approximately one-quarter of those people who receive physician-assisted suicide never asked for it (www.vaeh.org). They did not ask for death, yet received it. That is end-of-life choice?
I implore our legislators to focus on bills that are going to protect and improve the quality of life here, in all stages of life — and if it comes to a vote, please vote no. Fellow Vermonters, you need to let your legislator know that you oppose physician-assisted suicide.
Joanna Turner Bisceglio