Tuesday, July 19, 2011

" [T]he vast majority wore round yellow stickers reading 'I oppose physician-assisted suicide.'"

Death with dignity forum emotional

Bennington Banner, Zeke Wright
Posted: 03/04/2011 10:48:11 PM EST

Friday March 4, 2011

MANCHESTER -- The Mark Skinner Library was the site of an emotionally charged but largely civil conversation Thursday evening on Vermont's Death with Dignity bill, or H.274, introduced in the House on Feb. 17.

The basement room was filled to capacity with more than 100 individuals who, by show of hands, had nearly all made up their minds beforehand. And their position was not to be left unstated, as the vast majority wore round yellow stickers reading "I oppose physician-assisted suicide," handed out beforehand as the crowd settled in.

The event was sponsored by Patient Choices Vermont and featured David Babbott, a board member of that group in support of H.274, and George Eighmey, who as an Oregon state legislator in 1997 supported the successful adoption of similar legislation in his state -- the first in the nation.

"It's not our goal that they use the law," said Eighmey, "Our goal is to have the full range of options for this individual who is facing the end of life."

Vermont's H.274 would allow terminally ill patients with a prognosis of less than six months to live the option of a lethal prescription, obtained from their physician. Safeguards are built in to restrict eligibility and ensure willingness and mental competence, and include a second consulting physician, palliative care consultations, three formal requests (the last in writing), and a 15-day waiting period between requests.

To read the rest of the article, go to Archives here.