March 27: Strong Disability Advocacy Leads to Defeat of Dangerous Bill


Here is how to testify against this dangerous bill (the exact same bill language as the 2015 assisted suicide bill here in Connecticut). We've highlighted some key parts in red print.

Public Health Committee
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Public Health Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. in Room 2C of the LOB. The Committee is accepting electronic testimony via email at phtestimony@cga.ct.gov. Please submit electronic testimony in Word or PDF format no later than 12:00 P.M. on Monday, March 19, 2018. If you are unable to submit electronic testimony, please submit 10 copies of your written testimony no later than 9:30 A.M. on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Room 3000 of the LOB. Please submit separate testimony for each bill. Testimony submitted after the deadline will be made available to legislators after the hearing. Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 9:00 A.M. in the First Floor Atrium of the LOB. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. Bills will be heard in the order listed in the Bulletin. Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.

SUBJECT MATTER: Bills related to the Department of Developmental Services; Department of Public Health; Tobacco, Nicotine Delivery System and Vapor Products; Opioids; End-of-Life Care and Public Health related bills.

Second Thoughts Connecticut Opposes Assisted Suicide HB 5417 - March 2018

Dear Members of the Public Health Committee,

        With all due respect, and on behalf of our members at Second Thoughts Connecticut, we are writing to express our outrage that yet another bill to legalize assisted suicide is being raised this year.
        Similar bills were raised in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Each one resulted in a grueling 12-15 hour hearing, putting great stress on legislators, the public, and especially on disabled people like ourselves, many of whom find it hard to travel and stay out for hours at a time.
        Not only were these bills pulled each year before the JF deadline, but each time they were pulled earlier in the process, indicating that whatever support the concept may have had in 2013 had eroded.
        This is not surprising. Initially, people often think that assisting someone to die is the compassionate course. Once they read the bill, consider its implementation, and understand the discrimination it entails, support drops. They have second thoughts.
        It’s bad enough to have to go through this ordeal all over again. We were shocked to see that HB 5417 (An Act Concerning End-Of-Life Care) is exactly identical to HB 7015, which was heard in 2015. The only things that have been changed are the title and the effective date. All of the testimony opposing the 2015 bill is still relevant. If there are no new ideas, and none of our previous concerns have been addressed, why would the outcome be any different?
        Furthermore, this bill deals with life and death. It was not taken seriously enough to draft a new bill, or even remove the reference in Section 18 to the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, which no longer exists. How much thought was put into the impact this legislation would have on our well-being?
        We urge you to withdraw HB 5417. There is nothing new here, and this concept has failed to pass a single committee in three consecutive years. In baseball, after you strike out three times, you sit down for a while.

Thank you.
Cathy Ludlum and Stephen Mendelsohn
Second Thoughts Connecticut
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/secondthoughtsconnecticut/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecondThoughtsConnecticut/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/2ndThoughtsCT

Testimony of Attorney Mark W. Dost on 2018 Assisted Suicide Bill in Connecticut

Massachusetts Legislature Must Say “No” To Assisted Suicide (January 2018)

Second Thoughts Connecticut is composed of citizens with disabilities and advocates who oppose the legalization of assisted suicide (also called "aid-in-dying"), which we view as endangering the lives of people with disabilities and elders.

Link: Some Oregon and Washington State Assisted Suicide Abuses and Complications