NRL News

Pro-Suicide Group “Celebrates”

by | Jul 3, 2018

5 Years of Death by Lethal Dose

Editor’s note. The following is from the newsletter of Vermont Right to Life.

In a macabre celebration of the five-year anniversary of passage of Act 39, Vermont’s doctor-prescribed suicide law, the pro-suicide organization, Patient Choices Vermont, held a social event in the Cedar Creek Room at the State House in Montpelier on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

Attended largely by Patient Choices Vermont board members, the event featured a celebratory reception with food and drink, speeches from a few of the lawmakers who were instrumental in the process that led to legalizing assisted suicide in our State, along with the family survivors of three of those who ingested the lethal poison.

Former Speaker of the House, Shap Smith, admitted that it was the hardest piece of legislation to EVER get passed in the history of the legislature and to having to bend the usual rules to get it through.

Thanks to pro-lifers who devoted their time and effort to defend the lives of the most vulnerable, it did indeed take nearly a dozen years to narrowly gain passage. In the end, Act 39 was passed in the Senate by only two votes. Smith also credited former Governor Peter Shumlin for his work to get it across the finish line.

Current Lt Governor David Zuckerman also spoke and, astonishingly, he stated that “the law has worked well.”

That statement can only be a guess on Zuckerman’s part as there is, in fact, no way to know how the law is working.

Smith, Zuckerman, Shumlin and others agreed to strip pages of protections for vulnerable people out of the original legislation in a late-night bid to shove the bill across the finish line. The law is so poorly constructed that the ONLY data that can be collected is the number of prescriptions that have been written.

There is no way to accurately know how many people filled the written prescription for a deadly dose nor is there any way to know if the drug failed or was never taken since the death certificate will NOT list Act 39 as the cause of death.

Vermont Right to Life knows of one incident where an elderly woman was repeatedly pushed to use Act 39, even though she had made it clear that she objected to the whole idea. In addition, one medical professional publicly warned that there had been incidences in Vermont where people only ingested half the dose and did not die.

According to the data collected most recently, 54 people in Vermont have received a written prescription for a lethal dose over the last 5 years. There is no fact-based answer as to how many have ingested the dose, but the Vermont Department of Health is placing that number at 29.

Vermont Right to Life and others continue to call for repeal of Act 39.

Categories: Assisted Suicide