By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Massachusetts citizens will be voting on an Initiative to legalize assisted suicide on the November 2012 ballot. Opponents of the Initiative are urging the voters in Massachusetts to reject this proposal, in the same way as the Vermont legislature has consistently rejected attempts to legalize assisted suicide.
True Dignity Vermont, among others, has successfully defeated attempts to legalize assisted suicide in their state over and over again. This Spring the assisted suicide bill was defeated in the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee and then it was re-introduced through the back-door linked to a Tanning Bed regulation bill resulting in it being defeated again by a vote of 18 to 11. In fact, legislation attempts to legalize assisted suicide have been introduced, debated and defeated on several occasions over the past few years in Vermont even though Governor Peter Shumlin has promised to legalize assisted suicide.
Kristian Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute stated to the Catholic News Service:
“We’re obviously elated that the Senate in Vermont did the right thing, not only to defeat this onerous bill but also to defeat the political shenanigans that were going on to try to get this bill passed. The whole thing was politics at its worst.”
Polling indicates that it will be difficult to defeat the assisted suicide Initiative in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In March, Public Policy Polling released results that showed 43 percent of Massachusetts voters are in favor of assisted suicide, while 37 percent are opposed. The polling indicated that younger people were more likely to support assisted suicide.
Second Thoughts, a disability rights group that opposes assisted suicide, is organizing a strong campaign against assisted suicide in Massachusetts.
Second Thoughts is organizing a educational and organizational meeting on Saturday, May 19 from 2:00 – 4:30 pm at the Cambridge Senior Center in the main floor ballroom (806 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA).
The Second Thoughts website effectively explains why they oppose assisted suicide.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog.