Our sources have informed us that the House Judiciary Committee will resurrect HB 171 today and attempt to ram through an assisted suicide substitute bill this afternoon. The progressives are hoping for bipartisan support.
Last Friday, the House Judiciary Committee tabled HB 171, an assisted suicide bill with plans to work on and resurrect a substitute bill this week. Today is the day HB 171’s substitute will be brought before the committee according to our sources in Santa Fe. Please contact the Judiciary Committee (contact info here) and tell the members to vote against this bad bill regardless of supposed “safeguards” (that as we show below don’t really work) the bill’s author might come up with.
We need to stand united against sneaking in legislation that isn’t on the agenda– below are several reasons to oppose HB171:
1. Because of letters like this:
Dear. Mrs. Packer,
We regrettably cannot pay for your lung treatments because they will likely only extend your life and not save it. We do offer physician assisted death for a $1.20.
California Insurance Company
This is the true story of a woman who was the mother of four young children in California.
A friend of my grandmother’s, a fellow state Senator, had inoperable cancer, and was given months to live. He didn’t accept that his life would be so short, investigated alternative medicine (cannabis, actually) and is alive today with a good quality of life– four years later!
This bill will marginalize the poor and disabled across New Mexico, who cannot afford out of pocket life-extending care when the insurance companies no longer cover it and loved ones of those affected by this will never forget. This is a big loss for the poor and disadvantaged families, but a big win for insurance companies.
2. Our own Medical Societies (NMMS & GAMA) Oppose this Legislation:
The America Medical Association says:
Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient’s death by providing the necessary means and/or information to enable the patient to perform life-ending act.
Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physicians role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.
Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life. Physicians:
(a) Should not abandon a patient once it is determined that the cure is possible
(b) Must respect patient autonomy
(c) Must provide good communication and emotional support
(d) Must provide appropriate comfort care and adequate pain control.
AMA Principles of Medical Ethics I, IV
3. Safeguards against abuse don’t work and enforcement is impossible:
Oregon patient Kate Cheney was 85. Her doctor refused to prescribe lethal drugs because he thought the request actually resulted from pressure by Ms. Cheney’s adult daughter who felt burdened with care giving. So the family found another doctor, and Ms. Cheney used the lethal prescription and died. This “doctor shopping,” which is demonstrated in the story above, was tracked by the state of Oregon for 3 years and it rose to 59% of all patients, so they stopped tracking it. Oregon has no authority or funding to investigate abuse.
It’s become common knowledge in Oregon that if your doctor says no, simply call the main lobbying group Compassion & Choices (funded by George Soros, by the way) and they’ll refer you to assisted suicide doctors. They have been involved in over 75% of Oregon’s reported assisted suicides. This gets around shopping for another doctor who will say yes, and around the state’s weak safeguards, such as second opinions.
Make the phone calls, send the emails:
Again, please take the time to call and email each member of the Judiciary Committee. I reached out to them earlier this week with my message asking them to vote down ANY version of HB171.
The Judiciary Committee: