Vermont seems poised to enact assisted suicide into state law. For the first three years, it will be a law with even fewer “protective guidelines” than the ephemeral Oregon rules. Then, the guidelines sunset and doctors would seem to be able do pretty much as they please.
The alternative grants doctors immunity from prosecution for providing a lethal dose of medication if they follow a list of rules, including making sure the patient is terminally ill and making a voluntary, informed decision. The list includes some, but not all, the rules Oregon requires in its 15-year-old law. In 2016, that list of rules expires, with the idea that doctors will have established their own protocol.
Please notice the trajectory: As the doctor-prescribed death movement advances, its proffered restrictions get progressively weaker. That’s happening in slower motion in the USA than in euthanasia havens like the Netherlands and Belgium because there is still resistance to the culture of death here–as Massachusetts voters showed by defeating a legalization referendum in November. But whether here or overseas, the death-on-demand ultimate destination is the same.
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Next step: A campaign to persuade Vermont doctors to refuse all participation in doctor-prescribed suicide and for hospitals and nursing homes to keep the suiccide agenda outside their doors! How about signs that say, “This is an assisted suicide free zone.”
LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Secondhand Smoke.