Dear Supporter of the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare,
A big “Thank you” to several of you who have recently written letters to the editor opposing physician-assisted suicide. We need help again, but in different ways. [I am embarassed to continue to ask that you do this or that in such rapid succession, but the legislature seems to be fast-tracking H-44, so we must do lots of things in a short time.]
(1) This Friday, Feb 23, is “Death With Dignity Advocacy Day” at the Statehouse. We have just learned that the House Human Services Committee has adjusted its schedule to allow a DWD guest from Oregon to give testimony sometime between 1 and 3 that afternoon. We are scrambling to see if we will be allowed equal time, though we do not likely have sufficient time to enlist an opponent to physician-assisted suicide from Oregon (we are trying!).
We need your help on Friday to give of your time and your presence. We need to have people in opposition to be seen at the Statehouse on Friday, anytime during the day, but especially between 1:00 and 3:00. Those of you who can make this sacrifice of time and gasoline should look for the group who will be wearing stickers saying “I oppose Physician-Assisted Suicide.” Join the group. Wear a sticker (will be provided). And be seen as a strong silent opposing force.
(2) Next Tuesday, Feb 27, there will be a public hearing in the well of the House from 6:30-9:30 PM. We need physicians, nurses, hospice staff, pharmacists, disability rights people, clergy of all faiths. Plan to get there early to sign up. We expect each person will be allowed 3-5 minutes, but it is hard to be certain. Points to consider: (a) PAS is not needed; better and more accessible palliative care are needed; (b) patients already have choice at the end of life, the choice to stop any unwanted treatment; C the “safeguards” are inadequate; (d) this persistent legislative move is being pushed and funded by out of state sources; (e) this bill is about suicide, not “merely another end-of-life choice.” Refresh yourselves with more info from www.vaeh.org (“Resources”, especially “Theory vs Practice”.
(3) If you haven’t notified members of the House Human Services Committee of your opposition to PAS, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT.
Thanks in advance for taking a stand against legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Vermont.
Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare