Connecticut Governor Malloy is unlikely to support assisted suicide bill HB 5326, newspaper reports

 

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Cathy Ludlum

Cathy Ludlum

The New Haven Register reported Wednesday that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy opposes assisted suicide.

The Connecticut House is debating assisted suicide HB 5326, a bill that will have public hearings in the Public Health Committee on Monday March 17.

On March 6 the New Hampshire House defeated a similar assisted suicide bill HB 1325 by a vote of 219 to 66.

The New Haven Register’s Hugh McQuaid reported that

“Gov. Dannel P. Malloy leaned Wednesday away from legislation allowing a doctor to prescribe lethal medication to a dying patient in favor of a policy giving patients broader rights to refuse treatment.

“1It’s a very tricky issue,’ the governor said at an unrelated press conference when he was asked about a policy, which has been labeled ‘aid-in-dying’ by supporters and ‘assisted suicide’ by critics.”

Malloy then explained that he supports a bill that provides clarity on advanced directives. According to the McQuaid

“The governor endorsed another piece of legislation which would create a pilot program on ‘medical orders for life sustaining treatment.’ The idea is similar to ‘do not resuscitate’ orders, which are already in use in Connecticut. It would give seriously ill patients the option of creating directives indicating they want to refuse life-sustaining treatments.

“’I support that legislation and I think people in Connecticut overwhelmingly support that legislation,’ Malloy said.”

When asked if he would support the assisted suicide bill he said:

“If it’s more like the directive bill as opposed to an assisted suicide bill, then I think it will pass. If it’s an assisted suicide bill, I think it’s going to get some opposition…I’ll work with folks to craft the best bill possible that will yield the citizens of our state the most say over their treatment, and what treatment would be undertaken to prolong life and what treatments under what conditions would not take place.”

An article in the February 25 New Haven Register included an interview with Cathy Ludlum, who represents the disability rights group, Second Thoughts Connecticut. According to reporter Ed Stannard

“Ludlum herself has a disability requiring a feeding tube and breathing assistance at night and said she would be terminal if not for the help she gets from aides. She is serving on a committee drafting an alternative to aid in dying, called medical orders for life-sustaining treatment, which would give patients choices about the end of their lives but not assisted suicide.

“’Why don’t we let these processes work themselves out instead of rushing to a solution like assisted suicide,’ Ludlum said.

“To Ludlum, ‘One of the really glaring missing things is no … independent witness at the death. We need to honor the complexity, and we need to honor the fallibility of humans … fallibility in this case is death.’”

Editor’s note. This appeared at alexschadenberg.blogspot.com.