Assisted suicide bill defended as end to suffering, criticized as slippery slope
State lawmakers spent Friday listening to hours of
emotional testimony in regard to a proposed assisted suicide bill.
The legislation would give anyone with six months to live
the option to end their suffering.
This bill would let doctors in Connecticut prescribe drugs
to end a terminally ill patient's life.
Disability groups are fighting the idea, saying that it's
way too easy for doctors to write off someone with a physical or an emotional
"Once we start codifying and normalizing suicide
anywhere, starting with terminal illness, it will slowly, yet surely, become
the socially acceptable answer to escaping other hardships, such as mental
illness or even just a hard life,” says Sherman Gillums, Jr., of the National
Alliance on Mental Illness.
family in Orange, the fight is very personal. Mike Mizzone packed in as much
life as he could.
want to die. The fact of the matter is that I have been already chosen. I've
already been called,” he said in 2015.
Last year, he
died of Lou Gehrig's disease. His widow, Jennifer Mizzone says he “died of
asphyxia and it was a nightmare.”
she begged state lawmakers to pass the Aid in Dying bill.
suicide is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C. One of them is New
Jersey, where one doctor says, it works well.
all extremely clear in their requests. Their decisions were made after weeks of
discussions and introspection," says Dr. Debora Pasik.
There are many protections in the bill, including patients
having to make the request three times, once in writing with two witnesses
attesting to their emotional health. Then two doctors must determine that the
patient does in fact only have six months to live.
The bill has been pitched and failed for the last eight