• No place for legislation
    April 20,2013

    No place for legislation

    Passing S.77, physician assisted suicide and calling suicide a “legal medical treatment” takes patient choice away from far many more Vermonters than it gives to those few who want to require others to bless and participate in the suicide option already available to them without this law.

    The very rich Hemlock Society (pro-eugenics and pro-euthanasia), known for bankrolling the campaigns of its promoters, has changed its name to Compassion & Choice and seems to have found a seat in each chamber of our Legislature.

    It’s not enough for these necromancers that suicide is not a crime in Vermont. However, if they have their way, it will become a medical procedure and insurance companies in Vermont, like those in the state of Washington have already done, will be able to tell us, when we need healing or palliative care, that these are too expensive but they are willing to pay for physician assisted suicide. In Washington, they’ve told us the value of life — just $75 to $100. How much is life worth in Vermont?

    Soon, our Legislature will be voting on Shumlin’s single payer health plan; soon we will be dealing with Obama’s universal health care, which requires an Independent Payment Advisory Board of 18 individuals to decide on the efficiency and economy of every treatment option for every patient. If this board deems that there is a more economical treatment for a given patient than that which the patient and doctor agree is the one needed to preserve health or life of that patient, there will be no recourse. The doctor will not be allowed to proceed with the treatment without losing his practice and the patient will not be able to purchase it even with his own money.

    If S.77 becomes a legal medical treatment option in the state of Vermont, then we can be sure that the Independent Payment Advisory Board will see that this is the most “efficient” treatment option for Vermonters and the only one that the board will allow.

    Already, thousands of cancer patients have been put at risk due to the 2 percent cut in spending for chemotherapy drugs that has been imposed on cancer clinics. If this had been done to me when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Stage 4, eight months to live, 25 years ago, I would have died 24 years ago.

    If you think I’m being unreasonable because this is too unthinkable to consider, then think again. Many of us think that way about S.77; yet our senators and representatives are considering it as legislation to be imposed on all of us. They have spent much of this legislative session considering the unreasonable and the unthinkable.

    Please, contact your representatives and tell them you don’t want them passing any laws that would allow insurance companies to take away our health care and replace it with death.S.77 should not be passed in any form.

    Clara Schoppe

    St. Johnsbury

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