Connecticut Defeats Legislation to Make it 4th State to Legalize Assisted Suicide

State   Steven Ertelt   Apr 10, 2015   |   4:57PM    Hartford, CT

Connecticut will not follow Oregon, Washington and Vermont as the fourth state to legalize assisted suicide. Backers of the bill said they would try again next year in an attempt to get the state legislature to sign off on such a bill.

Again,a coalition of pro-life groups, disability rights advocates and religious and medical organizations — as has happened in other states — was crucial to stopping the measure. A local news report has more:

Advocates for a law to allow terminally ill patients access to life ending drugs are hoping for success next year because there’s not enough support this legislative session.

This is the third time aid-in-dying legislation has been before a legislative committee.

Tim Appleton is the state campaign manager for Compassion and Choices, a group that supports aid-in-dying laws across the country. He said advocates decided to pull the bill from the Judiciary Committee’s consideration.

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“We were concerned that if the votes weren’t there to come out of committee, that a vote in the negative would set back this issue for several years,” Appleton said. “With everything that’s at stake — with the 7,000 people who die from terminal cancers every single year, many of them wanting this choice — we just could not take that risk.”

A pro-life group Family Institute of Connecticut, was one of the many groups opposing the bill. Before any votes were taken, it was quite concerned about the possibility of it advancing.

“Though FIC Action and our allies crushed assisted suicide at the state Capitol for the last two years–and the biggest pro-assisted suicide legislator lost her election last year–the George Soros-funded pro-assisted suicide group is using its great wealth to force our overburdened state government to take up the issue again in 2015,” it said.

The group said assisted suicide is not the best way to help the elderly, disabled or terminally ill patients.

“FIC Action does not support keeping a patient alive by extraordinary means against that patient’s will. We support true aid-in-dying, which is hospice and palliative care. What we oppose is licensing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for the purpose of taking a human life, prescribing suicide as a treatment,” it said.

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“And we are not alone. Connecticut hospice associations, the Connecticut Medical Society, disability rights advocates and many on the political Left joined FIC Action these last two years in opposing assisted suicide because it is bad public policy that puts vulnerable populations at risk. We can find alternatives for easing pain without passing a law that could put pressure on the elderly and people with disabilities to feel that they are a burden and should end their lives,’ the group added.

The pro-life organization continued: “The societal implications of legalizing assisted suicide are staggering. Government and doctors would be endorsing suicide. One Connecticut legislator at the “Compassion and Choices” press conference two years ago admitted under questioning that once this first bill is passed, they could come back for a second bill to allow the mentally incompetent to take their own lives. In Belgium, a law to euthanize children has been passed. In Oregon, patients desiring treatment under the Oregon Health Plan have been offered assisted suicide instead.”