• We shouldn’t encourage suicide
    March 17,2012

    Suicide is a terrible tragedy that happens too often in Vermont. It should not be promoted or sanctioned by the state, which is exactly what physician-assisted suicide would do. This proposal, currently being considered by the Legislature, is the wrong way to address a real problem not only for people with terminal illnesses but many others as well. It is understandable that one would not want to endure pain or be put in a nursing home to die alone. So let’s fix that problem rather than create a bad law. We need to put into place the community supports and services, including appropriate palliative care so anyone can live in their home with family who are not having to be full-time caregivers and breadwinners at the same time. Many Vermonters with disabilities who do not have a terminal illness need these supports as well.

    Suicide is not against the law. If you feel this is something you must do, there are sources of information on the Internet about how to acquire the needed drugs which you can administer yourself (as the proposed law would require). Let’s not allow doctors and drug companies to profit by the loss of someone’s life. For doctors who agree with physician-assisted suicide, what happened to the Hippocratic Oath, “Thou shall do no harm”? We would be sending the wrong message to anyone considering suicide, for whatever reason.

    Physician-assisted suicide would be a bad law that won’t solve the real problem and would actually discriminate against people with disabilities.

    Peter Johnke

    East Calais

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