Washington Lawmakers Issue Bipartisan Opposition to Assisted Suicide Prop

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Washington Lawmakers Issue Bipartisan Opposition to Assisted Suicide Prop

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 21
, 2008

Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) — A group of bipartisan lawmakers in the Washington state legislature have issued a statement saying they oppose the bid to legalize assisted suicide. They’re urging state residents not to sign petitions to get I-1000 on the November ballot to try to make the state second after Oregon to legalize the practice.

Sen. Margarita Prentice, a Democrat from Renton, said in a statement from Coalition Against Assisted Suicide, that the measure targets vulnerable citizens.

“It has virtually no protection for low-income and vulnerable people from being pressured into prematurely ending their life,” she said. “This very dangerous initiative never would have passed the legislature."

Prentice also said there is a danger that “physicians can prescribe lethal drugs to patients who are depressed or mentally ill."

"In 2007, according to the Oregon Department of Health, not one patient in Oregon was referred for psychological counseling, a sure sign to me there is nothing to protect those suffering psychological distress," she explained.

Sen. Joe Zarelli, a Republican, agreed and said he thinks his constituents will agree with him that the assisted suicide measure is bad public policy.

“Personally, I don’t agree with it. The idea of a health care institution –its purpose is to help people, not help them take their lives," he said. He added I-1000 would “create conflicting ethics” for doctors.

Four Democrats and 11 Republicans signed a statement released on Tuesday saying they oppose the ballot proposal. They join Gov. Chris Gregoire who opposes the assisted suicide measure, too.

I-1000 backers have to submit 224,800 valid signatures to the Secretary of State by July 3 to qualify the measure for the Washington ballot

Related web sites:
Washington Coalition Against Assisted Suicide – https://www.noassistedsuicide.com