Assisted Suicide

Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide by Zoom

By Wesley J. Smith

Remember when we were told that assisted suicide would only be engaged in as part of an intimate and long-term physician/patient relationship?

Of course, the laws never required that. And now, Vermont has legalized assisted suicide by Zoom or Skype. The new law also eliminates the previous requirement that the doctor have examined the patient. In other words, the poison-prescribing doctor would seem to never have to actually meet the patient in person. From the recently passed and signed S 74 (my emphasis):

(a) A physician shall not be subject to any civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action if the physician prescribes to a patient with a terminal condition medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death and the physician affirms by documenting in the patient’s medical record that all of the following occurred:

(1) The patient made an oral request to the physician in the physician’s physical presence or by telemedicine, if the physician determines the use of telemedicine to be clinically appropriate, for medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death.

(2) No Not fewer than 15 days after the first oral request, the patient made a second oral request to the physician in the physician’s physical presence or by telemedicine, if the physician determines the use of telemedicine to be clinically appropriate, for medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death.

Strict guidelines protect against abuse! Except they were never strict, and those that do exist are not intended to stick. As soon as people become comfortable with doctors participating in their patients’ suicides, the “protections” touted so loudly are suddenly redefined as “obstacles,” and “access” to facilitated death “is improved” by making it easier to be made dead.

And cold cynics that assisted-suicide advocates are, they know that by the time their ruse becomes apparent, people won’t care anymore. Look Ma. No brakes!

Editor’s note. Wesley’s columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with permission.

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