By Lois Anderson, Executive Director, Oregon Right to Life
Editor’s note. This update was sent out to supporters today.
Last week, The Washington Post finally published an article that I’ve been waiting for. You weren’t directly named but its contents definitely impact you. Our state is the front lines of a national fight to introduce euthanasia.
We just witnessed this firsthand with the passage of HB 4135 (a bill you helped us fight tooth and nail). But that wasn’t enough for “right-to-die” politicians. State Rep. Mitch Greenlick told the Washington Post that he will introduce a bill in the 2019 session that “would open up the state’s Death With Dignity law to dementia patients by doing away with all stipulations about terminal time limits.”
Currently, physician-assisted suicide is only accessible to people diagnosed with terminal illnesses and a life expectancy of six months or less. It is not accessible to anyone with degenerative but non-terminal diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Even national “right-to-die” groups are concerned about Greenback’s plans. The potential is great for that would-be law to be used to euthanize patients who did not choose it for themselves.
We may have just lost one battle with HB 4135 but the war is still on. Your advocacy and support is needed now more than ever. I don’t ask unless there is need so trust me, there is need.
The 2018 legislative session was short but lobbying bills were high and are ongoing. HB 4135 will be implemented through a long process with many opportunities for us to try and soften its blow. In advance of Greenlick’s impending bill, we will be educating the legislative body about the exponential dangers of expanding physician-assisted suicide into de facto euthanasia.
Because everyone deserves an advocate.