Friday, February 23, 2018

SB 490 Was Gateway to Assisted Suicide and the Senate Just Slammed It Shut, For Now

Senator Donna
 Soucy, Esq.
By Ellen Kolb*

SB 490 was gateway to assisted suicide [legalization], and the Senate just slammed it shut for now

On a 12-10 vote, the New Hampshire Senate has killed a bill that would have paved the way for assisted suicide. I did not see that result coming. Thank-yous are in order, including one I didn’t think I’d ever be writing.

Voting “inexpedient to legislate,” sending the bill into the trash heap: Senators Bob Giuda, James Gray, Harold French, Ruth Ward, Gary Daniels, Kevin Avard, John Reagan, Donna Soucy, Regina Birdsell, Chuck Morse, William Gannon, and Dan Innis. If any one of them had voted differently, today’s outcome would have been different.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Live Free or Die! New Hampshire Obliterates Oregon-Style Death with Dignity Act!

Today, the New Hampshire House of Representatives defeated HB 1325. The bill had sought to enact an Oregon-style death with dignity act in New Hampshire. The bipartisan vote was an overwhelming 219 to 66.

To view a short testimony against the bill, click here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dore Testimony Against HB 1325

Dear Legislators:

I am an attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal.  I am also a Democrat.  I urge you to not make Washington's mistake.

I have three points:

1.  HB 1325 is the same bill as HB 304 in the 2009 session, which was defeated in a 2 to 1 bipartisan vote
  • HB 1325 is exactly the same bill as HB 304 in the 2009 session.  The only exception is the proposed effective date. 
  • In 2009, when HB 304 was defeated, the Democrats controlled the House.  The vote to defeat HB 304 was 2 to 1 in a  bipartisan vote:  242 to 113.
  • 100 Democrats and 142 Republicans voted to defeat the bill.  To verify, please see this link:
2.  HB 1325 is a recipe for abuse and exploitation 

With HB 1325 being the same bill as HB 304, I provided the House Judiciary Committee with my prior memo about HB 304.  A copy can be viewed at this link:

      Key points include:
  • "Financial reasons [are] an all too common motivation for killing someone." (memo pape 3)
  • Your heir, who will financially benefit from your death, is allowed to act as a witness on the lethal dose request form.  See 137-L:4 (allowing one of two witnesses to be an heir)  
  • There is a complete lack of oversight once the lethal dose is issued by the pharmacy.  Not even a witness is required.  Even if you struggled, who would know? 

3.  HB 1325 encourages non-dying people to throw away their lives.

HB 1325 applies to persons with a "terminal condition," which is broadly defined so as to include non-dying people with disabilities. See, for example, this commentary by Stephen Drake regarding the prior bill, HB 304:
Well, advocates for assisted suicide in New Hampshire can say – with a straight face – that the bill they’ve introduced is limited to people with “terminal conditions.”
The trick, of course, is that they’ve come up with a new and expansive definition of “terminal condition,” [as follows:]
XIII. “Terminal condition” means an incurable and irreversible condition, for the end stage of which there is no known treatment which will alter its course to death, and which, in the opinion of the attending physician and consulting physician competent in that disease category, will result in premature death.
Read that definition carefully, terminality is defined as having a condition that is irreversible and will result in a premature death. My partner [who uses a wheelchair] would fit that definition. Many people I work with also fit the definition.
None of them are dying. . . .   

 HB 1325 encourages non-dying people to throw away their lives.

Margaret Dore
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P.S.
1001 4th Avenue, 44th Floor

Seattle, WA  98154
206 389 1754 main reception line
206 389 1562 direct line

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Hampshire Defeats Assisted Suicide, Again

By Margaret Dore

On March 16, 2011, the New Hampshire House of Representatives defeated an Oregon-style physician-assisted suicide bill.  The bill, HB 513, was defeated on the House floor 234 to 99.  The bill had previously been defeated in the House Judiciary Committee 15 to 1The majority committee report gives these reasons for the defeat: 

"[T]his bill would legalize state-sanctioned suicide for people with terminal illnesses and that this is an area where government does not belong.  People with terminal illnesses who may consider suicide do not need encouragement from the government.  The committee further believes that this bill is a recipe for elder abuse.  The committee also recognizes that doctors’ diagnoses and predictions may be incorrect; numerous cases exist where people have lived far beyond their doctor’s predictions, some of them having been cured from their terminal disease.  For these reasons, the committee strongly believes that this bill represents bad policy and practice and recommend inexpedient to legislate."

House Journal, Vol. 33, No. 28 (scroll down to HB 513) .

A public Judiciary Committee Hearing had been held on February 28, 2011.  At that time, committee members focused on letters from Oregon doctors Charles Bentz, Ken Stevens and William Toffler.  

During this same hearing, former New Hampshire State Representative Nancy Elliott testified in person.  Washington State attorney Margaret Dore testified in person and presented this analysis.  There were other presentations and written submissions.

In 2010, the New Hampshire House of Representatives had defeated a similar bill, HB 304.  The vote then was 242-113 on the house floor and 14 to 3 in the House Judiciary Committee.  At that time, both the House and the House Judiciary Committee were controlled by the Democratic Party.