Please send an email to the members of the Public Health Committee in the Oklahoma House urging support for HB 1495, which defends against assisted suicide by ensuring accuracy in reporting the cause of death on death certificates. All committee members can be reached with a single email to [email protected].
Advocates of assisted suicide are increasingly recommending reporting an underlying illness as the cause of death on death certificates, instead of suicide, to obscure the actual cause of death. HB 1495 directs that suicide be indicated as the cause of death in such cases.
Several states have legalized assisted suicide, most notably Oregon, Washington, and California, and advocates of assisted suicide, seeking to avoid alarming society about the reality of assisted suicide, and about its frequency, are encouraging those who participate in it to hide what is occurring. Refer, e.g., to the Washington “Death with Dignity Act”: “The attending physician may sign the patient’s death certificate which shall list the underlying terminal disease as the cause of death.”
Law professor O. Carter Snead made the following comment after California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the bill legalizing assisted suicide in that state in 2015:
“What Gov. Brown should have been reflecting on… were the poor, the disabled, the marginalized and the elderly who are now exposed to grave and lethal new risks of fraud, abuse, mistake and coercion. He should have been reflecting on those who are suffering from untreated, but treatable, depression or badly managed, but manageable, pain, people for whom the path of least resistance is now self-administration of lethal drugs.
“Gov. Brown should have been reflecting on the aged, who are now at risk of an entirely new form of elder abuse. He should have been reflecting on the financially disadvantaged, whose insurers will now weigh the low costs of assisted suicide against more expensive palliative treatments. He should have been reflecting on the disabled, who are terrified about the subtle coercion that will now be brought to bear by others who consider their lives not worth living. He should have been reflecting on the path taken by countries like the Netherlands and Belgium, where assisted suicide quickly gave way to euthanasia, first voluntary, then non-voluntary, in the name of false autonomy and compassion… Gov. Brown has purchased the right to assisted suicide at the expense of the disabled, the marginalized, the poor and the elderly.”
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