Connecticut Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide Likely Dead After Hearing

State   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Mar 19, 2014   |   10:27AM   |   Hartford, CT

The Record Journal news in Connecticut is reporting that the assisted suicide bill HB 5326 is unlikely to go to a vote this year. On Monday, the Connecticut General Assembly Public Health Committee held a public hearing on HB 5326.

On March 6, 2014, less than two weeks earlier, the New Hampshire legislature defeated assisted suicide bill HB 1325 by a vote of 219 to 66. Connecticut and New Hampshire are both in the northeastern US.
The Record Journal reported Rep. David Zoni, D-Southington, a health committee member stating:

“I don’t see a lot of strong support for it.”

While Zoni received more than 1,000 emails on the issue, he felt the e-mails from bill opponents appeared less manufactured. Emails in support of the “right to die” had similar wording and identical subject lines, he said.

elderlypatient14The Record Journal reported that Rep. Mary Mushinsky, D-Wallingford, who supports assisted suicide, included a question about assisted suicide in a survey sent to constituents Tuesday.

“I’m trying to get a read on the district,” she said. “Some people definitely love it, and some people are afraid of it.”

Unless there’s a groundswell of support though, she agrees the bill will again probably not come to a vote.

Rep. Al Adinolfi, R-Che­shire, who spoke against the bill during Monday’s public hearing said that he was a certified hospice volunteer and had seen how some families are looking for ailing relatives to die. The Record Journal reported him as saying:

“Allowing suicide as an option could be misused.”

“A person could be convinced what the option is by a selfish family,” Adinolfi said.

“Medication changes every day,” he said. “We could make a mistake and take a life when we shouldn’t.”

On March 12, The New Haven Register reported that Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy is unlikely to support the assisted suicide bill. On March 14, The Connecticut Mirror reported Governor Malloy to have said:

“I then become a little uneasy when it comes to saying that as a matter of state policy, that we’re going to take proactive actions to end life.”

A comprehensive poll on attitudes toward assisted suicide in Connecticut found that the majority of Connecticut residents do not support assisted suicide. The poll of 1000 Connecticut residents that was done March 6 – 9 found that: 55% believe a doctor should not prescribe or provide life-ending drugs, but instead should manage the illness or be allowed to remove a respirator or other medical interventions so nature can take its course. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.