by Steven Ertelt
April 1, 2007
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Lawmakers in the Wisconsin legislature have filed a bill that would make the state the next after Oregon to legalize the practice of assisted suicide. The bill comes after measures failed this year in Vermont and Hawaii, but a California proposal has been passed out of a first legislative committee.
State Sen. Fred Risser and state Rep. Frank Boyle, two Democrats, are behind the legislation, which would allow terminally ill patients to request life-ending drugs from their physicians.
The bill requires patients to get their terminally ill condition verified by two doctors and they must be expected to die within the next six months. Only then can they request the drugs to be used in killing themselves.
Risser and Boyle has proposed similar bills in previous years but they never received votes in either state House or Senate.
In a statement sent to LifeNews.com, Wisconsin Right to Life said it opposes the bill because it "would legalize the killing of vulnerable patients by allowing their physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs so the patients can kill themselves."
"We must guard against those ‘choices’ which victimize the vulnerable, ourselves, and society as a whole," legislative director Susan Armacost said. "We must minister compassionately to those who suffer from pain and those who fear death."
"Doctors should heal, not kill. We must maintain the healing tradition of medicine," she added.
There are dangers even when patients are allowed to "freely" request assisted suicide or euthanasia, she explained. Some of those included misdiagnosis, vulnerable patients feeling there is no alternative, and patients who suffer from depression and needing treatment getting death instead.
"Wisconsin Right to Life will strongly urge state lawmakers to oppose the Risser/Boyle proposal," Armacost concluded.