HB5326 Would Bring Doctor-Prescribed Suicide to Connecticut
HARTFORD – At a press conference Wednesday, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy distanced himself from legislation that would legalize doctor-prescribed death in the state. HB5326, which will be the subject of a public hearing before the Public Health Committee on Monday, March 17, would legalize the practice of assisted suicide in Connecticut. The governor indicated he would support alternative legislation empowering the medically vulnerable to create medical orders regarding life-sustaining treatment.
“HB5326 is bad medicine for the medically vulnerable and disabled in Connecticut,” said Susan Smith, president of the Pro-Life Council of Connecticut. “Under the guise of ‘helping’ terminal patients, this bill actual seeks to hasten their death at the hands of one who has pledged an oath to heal.”
While HB 5326 claims to contain “safeguards,” these are either impossible to enforce or in some cases, totally lacking.
One such component of this bill is that a person is supposed to be “terminally ill.” A patient who is diagnosed with a terminal illness is very often given a grim prognosis. They are told they may only have six months to live without treatment.
But just as often, we hear of patients who long outlive their prognosis – sometimes by years. Under HB 5326 these patients in Connecticut could be discouraged by their prognosis and seek out a doctor-prescribed suicide – potentially cutting years off of their life because a doctor misjudged their life expectancy.
On March 4, Pro-Life Council of Connecticut issued an Action Alert calling for members of the public to reach out to members of the Public Health Committee and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and urge them to oppose HB 5326.
“Our state is at a crossroads. We must not go down a path that views human life as nothing more than an expendable commodity,” Smith added. “We must not make our healers accomplices in killing their patients. The medically dependent and vulnerable deserve our state’s best efforts to treat them, keep them comfortable in their final days, and make sure they know that their lives will always be valued and protected.”