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:  http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/nh_hb_304_vote_breakdown_001.pdf
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:  http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/new-hampshire-hb-304.pdf

      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