Dear VAEH Supporter,
The Death With Dignity advocates have somehow managed to get around the traditional understanding that new bills are not to be introduced after “cross-over day” (Town Meeting Day). They have convinced several senators to quietly introduce S.144 near the end of the session, hoping its innocuous sounding title (An Act Relating to Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life) will be discussed and passed with little public discussion of this horrendous measure that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Vermont. Text of this bill is available at: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/bills/Intro/S-144.pdf Rumor has it that DWD-supporting senators may try to amend this to the palliative care bill (H.435) that so many of us have been working on for months; this bill has already passed the House and is in the Senate.
Time is of the essence. PLEASE contact your state senators and strongly urge them to vote against S.144. You may want to review H.435 and consider encouraging them to support it by itself, or at least to vote against it if the physician assisted suicide wording is amended. Contact information for senators is available at: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/lms/legdir/districts.asp?Body=S
You probably recall that a very similar bill was defeated by a large margin (82 to 63) in the House in 2007. We must ensure that this dreadful piece of proposed legislation is again defeated.
Sorry for the short notice, but this effort snuck in from left field, and will likely see action within the next few days.
Thanks for your help.
Bob Orr, President, Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare
P.O. Box 2145
South Burlington, VT 05407-2145