Friday, March 22, 2013

Washington Doctor Alerts Senators to "Expansion" Issue

Dear Senate Judiciary Committee:

I am doctor in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal for “terminal patients” predicted to have less than six months to live.  I write to alert you to our “expansion” issue.

Our law has been in effect for just four years.  We have, however, already had proposals to expand that law to direct euthanasia of non-terminal people.  See e.g., Brian Faller, "Perhaps it's time to expand Washington's Death with Dignity Act", November 16, 2011.  Last year, there was also this article in the Seattle Times, suggesting euthanasia for people who cannot afford their own care, which would be involuntary euthanasia:  Jerry Large, "Planning for old age at a premium," March 8, 2012 at ("After Monday's column,  . . . a few [readers] suggested that if you couldn't save enough money to see you through your old age, you shouldn't expect society to bail you out.  At least a couple mentioned euthanasia as a solution.")  (Emphasis added).

I am concerned with where this is going.  I hope that Montana protects its citizens by enacting HB 505.

Richard Wonderly, MD
Seattle Washington