Sunday, March 31, 2013

Support for HB 505

The following is a sampling of individuals and groups who support HB 505.

1.  112 Montana doctors have joined together to support HB 505.  See this link for their press release:
2.  Montanans Against Assisted Suicide has submitted 4000 plus signatures against assisted suicide into the Senate Judiciary Committee.
3.  The national disability rights group, Not Dead Yet, with members in Montana, has endorsed HB 505.  See
4.  Carol Mungas, the widow of a prominent physician who was euthanized by nurses against his will in Great Falls, has endorsed HB 505.  See 
5.  Montanans, Mike Moe and Gail Bell, with similar experiences, have endorsed HB 505.  See and
6.  The Daily Inter Lake endorsed HB 505.  See

Friday, March 29, 2013

Physician-Assisted Suicide Part of Elder Abuse Fraud

On March 26, 2013, Philip Tummarello, a retired police Sergeant Inspector, testified before the Montana Senate Judiciary Committee on on behalf of HB 505.  His testimony included the Thomas Middleton case in which physician-assisted suicide had facilitated the defrauding of an elderly man.  An article from states: 
"State and court documents show Middleton, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease, moved into Sawyer's home in July 2008, months after naming her trustee of his estate, The Bulletin reported Saturday.  Middleton deeded his home to the trust and directed her to make it a rental until the real estate market improved.
Instead, Sawyer signed documents that month to list the property for sale, two days after Middleton died by physician-assisted suicide.  The property sold in October of that year for more than $200,000, the documents show, and it was deposited into an account for one of Sawyer's businesses, Starboard LLC, and $90,000 of that was transferred to two other Sawyer companies, Genesis Futures and Tami Sawyer PC."  (Emphasis added).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Older people are no longer valued as they were before"

Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee by Elizabeth Poiana:

I am a  high school student in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal. I want to become a doctor.

My mother is a caregiver.  Sometimes I help her with her clients.

I am here to tell you about how older people are at risk in Washington, from doctors and hospitals. I will also talk attitudes about older people have changed for the worse.  This is especially true since our assisted suicide law was passed in 2008.

I grew up in an adult family home. An adult family home is a small elder care facility located in a residential home.  The caregivers live in the home with the clients.

My parents and two of my brothers lived in the home.  With the clients there, it was like having six grandparents at once.  It was a very happy environment.

This was true for the clients too, no matter what their condition was or how long they had to live. My mom could make them happy even when they were dying. The clients' family members were supportive and seemed happy too and never suggested that one of the clients should die.

Today, in 2013, we no longer live in an adult family home.  My mother is a caregiver for private clients.  She also now fears for her clients, especially in the hospital.   She is afraid that the hospital will begin "comfort care" (that's morphine) and her patient will suddenly die. This has already happened.  She tries to never leave her patients alone in the hospital. Either she or a family member will be there.

She has also had one client where a family member wanted the client to do the assisted suicide.

In short, older people are no longer valued as they were before.

I hope that you will not follow our path. Vote "yes" on HB505

Elizabeth Poiana

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Daily Interlake Urges Passage of HB 505

Slippery Slope of Assisted Suicide

Montanans have a libertarian leaning towards a live-and-let-live philosophy, but what about live-and-let-die?

Physician-assisted suicide continues to be the subject of legislation in Helena, and so far lawmakers have justifiably advanced legislation that would ban the practice and make it clear that “consent of the victim” is not a valid defense for a physician who assists a person with suicide.

One’s initial reaction might be to wonder why the Legislature is putting itself in a position of interfering with the autonomy of a person to choose their own demise with medical assistance. Advocates of physician-assisted suicide, after all, can and do bring heart-wrenching testimonials about people with horrible diseases simply wanting help in ending their lives.

But there are also plenty of reasons why more than 100 legislative proposals nationwide to allow physician-assisted suicide have been rejected, and why 112 Montana doctors support the bill that would ban it. Many of those reasons come from the experience of Oregon and Washington, states that passed ballot initiatives to allow physician-assisted suicide.

In those states, suicides usually aren’t actually “assisted” by physicians; doctors instead provide lethal prescriptions at the request of individuals who are mostly left on their own.

There is the story of an Oregon woman who had cancer and chose suicide 12 years ago, only to be talked out of it by her doctor. Now she is alive and well because she pursued treatment instead, and thankful that she did.

Legal Assisted Suicide Puts the Government in Your Life

With the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, the Oregon State Government received a new right, which it exercises:   The right to steer citizens to suicide with treatment and/or financial incentives.  Oregon doctor, Ken Stevens, describes this right in detail below.*

In Montana, where physician-assisted suicide is not legal, the government does not have that right.  The law in Montana is, however, in a confused state, which has opened the door to possible legalization.

To prevent that from happening, tell your legislators to vote "Yes" on HB 505! 

*  Dr. Stevens states:

A Response to Representative Moore

Re:  Vote "Yes" on HB 505, A Response to David "Doc" Moore

Dear Senate Judiciary Committee:

I was moved by the recent letter in the Montana Standard by David "Doc" Moore who lost his wife to cancer eleven years ago.  He says that when she "finally slipped into a coma, we thought that there would be relief." But, instead, "it was clear from her facial expressions and the constant death rattle that she was still suffering."

In 2009, my mother died a similar painful death. But it wasn't from her condition or a disease. You see, my mother was starved and dehydrated to death with massive doses of morphine after she'd had  a mild stroke. It had not mattered that she had been trying to speak and had indicated that she wanted water. The family member holding power of attorney, affirmed by a young doctor, had decided that it was time for her to die.