The Vermont legislature passed their assisted suicide bill today in what is a first for the USA. In Washington State and in Oregon, assisted suicide became possible via citizen initiated referenda of the type that was defeated in Massachusetts last November.
Wesley Smith comments below on the passage of this bill. Included below are his earlier observations about the bill:
Alas. Today, the Vermont Legislature passed a bill that legalizes assisted suicide in the state. The governor has promised to sign it into law and it will take effect immediately. In three years, the protective guidelines will sunset and VT will have essentially no rules assisted suicide.
This is very bad news disguised as compassion. Nor, in the long run, will the death agenda be limited to the terminally ill. Eventually, Vermont will end up off the same vertical moral cliff as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
Vermont seems poised to enact assisted suicide into state law. For the first three years, it will be a law with even fewer “protective guidelines” than the ephemeral Oregon rules. Then, the guidelines sunset and doctors would seem to be able do pretty much as they please. From the Burlington Free Press story:
The alternative grants doctors immunity from prosecution for providing a lethal dose of medication if they follow a list of rules, including making sure the patient is terminally ill and making a voluntary, informed decision. The list includes some, but not all, the rules Oregon requires in its 15-year-old law. In 2016, that list of rules expires, with the idea that doctors will have established their own protocol.
Please notice the trajectory: As the doctor-prescribed death movement advances, its proffered restrictions get progressively weaker. That’s happening in slower motion in the USA than in euthanasia havens like the Netherlands and Belgium because there is still resistance to the culture of death here–as Massachusetts voters showed by defeating a legalization referendum in November. But whether here or overseas, the death-on-demand ultimate destination is the same.
Next step: A campaign to persuade Vermont doctors to refuse all participation in doctor-prescribed suicide and for hospitals and nursing homes to keep the suicicde agenda outside their doors! How about signs that say, “This is an assisted suicide free zone.”