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Summary:

  •  Allows lethal doses (death pills) to be offered to those with “terminal” illnesses. But it is nearly impossible to accurately predict length of life simply based on statistical averages, which is why terminal diagnoses are often wrong. Individuals can live much longer than their original prognosis predicted.
  •  Suicide should NOT be defined in this bill as a medical treatment for pain relief and suffering! Lawmakers should be striving for everyone to know about and have access to excellent care and pain management, instead of offering them lethal doses for suicide. 
  •  In states that have legalized assisted suicide, health insurance companies are denying patients coverage for the care that they need and offering to cover the lethal pills for assisted suicide instead.
  •  Who defines "terminal?" Assisted Suicide doesn't specify if a "terminal" disease is also an untreatable one, meaning that something as easily treatable as diabetes can be considered "terminal." 
  •  This legislation forces the falsification of medical records. It requires the cause of death to be listed as the underlying illness--not as suicide, so that the life insurance can be claimed. The complete lack of oversight at death ("even if the patient struggled, who would know?") and the death certificate provision allowing legal murder means that there is zero accountability and huge opportunities for abuse and fraud.
  •  Assisted suicide permits the government and insurance companies to decide whose life has “dignity” and is worth living. This is not a decision for either the government or insurance companies to make.
  •  Assisted Suicide can only offer window dressing safeguards that are unenforceable.
Assisted Suicide is Not Medical Care! Call It What It Is! Read More Here!
Assisted Suicide is not a private, personal act! 

Doctor prescribed death involves more than the patient. It necessitates a host of participants, including a doctor, a pharmacist, and the state. It's a public act that requires medicine, law, and society to approve a lethal prescription that crosses the line between caring and killing. 

The financial motivation in killing off sick people cannot be ignored. The bottom line is that it is cheaper to kill you or a loved one when most vulnerable, than it is to provide the life valuing care needed.
"In states that have legalized assisted suicide … health insurance companies are denying patients coverage for the care that they need and offering assisted suicide instead.…" - Kristen Hanson 

It gets worse...

Legalized assisted suicide would require physicians to LIE on a patient's death certificate so that the life insurance isn't affected. 

That's right. Assisted suicide would state that the death certificate “must list the underlying terminal illness as the cause of death" (lines 245-247), when in fact, assisted suicide was the cause of death. This protects physicians--and anyone in the patient's life who would benefit financially from their death--NOT THE PATIENT. 

Assisted suicide offers zero accountability.

The complete lack of oversight at death (even if the patient struggled, who would know?) and the death certificate provision allowing legal murder means that there is no accountability and huge opportunities for abuse and fraud. 

There is also no accountability for how the death drugs are taken or disposed of. Assisted Suicide policies say that the drug must be self-administered, but how can that be enforced? There are no witnesses required for when the patient takes his or her life and no provision that it must be done in a medical facility; it is only suggested that it should not be done in public (lines 198-199). Furthermore, there is no way to track the disposal of the unused lethal drugs. Once they are prescribed, they are essentially on the loose.

Do you have a story to share about a wrong diagnosis or outliving a terminal diagnosis? We need to hear your story! Please email Nicole@DelawareFamilies if you are willing to share your story. 

Medical associations in Delaware do not support Assisted Suicide legislation. It would change the entire ethos of medical care in Delaware. How could it not? Studies show that the doctors who do assist in the death of patients become calloused and are more willing to prescribe this course of action for other patients. 

Here is what these leading national medical associations have to say:

The American Medical Association: "[A]llowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. 
Instead of participating in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life. Patients should not be abandoned once it is determined that cure is impossible." 

The American College of Physicians: "The College does not support legalization of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia. After much consideration, the College concluded that making physician-assisted suicide legal raised serious ethical, clinical, and social concerns. Physicians and patients must continue to search together for answers to the problems posed by the difficulties of living with serious illness before death, neither violating the physician's personal and professional values, nor abandoning the patient."
 
The American Nurses Association: "The American Nurses Association (ANA) prohibits nurses’ participation in assisted suicide and euthanasia because these acts are in direct violation of Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements..., the ethical traditions and goals of the profession, and its covenant with society. Nurses have an obligation to provide humane, comprehensive, and compassionate care that respects the rights of patients but upholds the standards of the profession in the presence of chronic, debilitating illness and at end-of-life."
 
The American Academy of Medical Ethics: "The relaxation or eradication of the historical prohibitions against healthcare professionals' deliberate killing is unethical, places unnecessary and inappropriate power in the hands of fallible human beings, and will result in the corruption of medicine as an enterprise worthy of individual and public trust. Medical killing by any name turns healthcare professionals into killers."
“Every time they ask a physician to prognosticate on life expectancy... it's usually wrong." 
-Dr. Bescia, Kidney Disease Expert and 
Co-inventor of Cimino-Brescia Fistula Hemodialysis
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