Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Assisted Suicide Is a Danger to Us All

Proposed legislation to legalize assisted suicide lacks safeguards.
Written By: Paul Stark | 10:30 am, Mar. 9, 2021

Arne Carlson says that Minnesota should legalize assisted suicide (“Medically assisted death is not a partisan issue,” March 2). He says the proposed bill to do so contains adequate safeguards. He’s wrong.

The legislation includes no safeguards once the lethal drug has been dispensed. And it doesn’t guard against the pressure insurers may exert if they offer to cover suicide but not  life-extending treatment. That’s happened in some states that already have assisted suicide laws.

Moreover, the bill doesn’t require a psychiatric evaluation before a patient is given a lethal prescription. In the states with assisted suicide, suicide-seeking patients virtually never undergo such an evaluation, and some people with histories of depression have received assisted suicide rather than treatment.

Carlson says people who are “suffering from a terminal illness” should be eligible for assisted suicide. Yet six-month prognoses are often unreliable. Government data from other states shows that some patients have qualified for assisted suicide only to live for years after.

Carlson tells us that this shouldn't be a partisan issue. He's right about that. Republican or Democrat, assisted suicide is a danger to all of us.