S77's Other Victims

To the Editor:

In all the discussion regarding this bill, not once has there been any answer given as to how to protect such patients from caretakers who decide the patient is more than ready to use it once the poison is in the home.

There are others besides the patient who are vulnerable in this scenario.

This bill which would put poison into the hands of a weary, frustrated caretaker and a promise that there will never be an investigation of the death and the death certificate will list the cause of death as the underlying disease, can easily turn any vulnerable, stressed out caretaker into a murderer. The person needn't be a monster, just tired and losing hope that his life will ever be normal.

What are you doing to the worn out single mother who's unable to look for a better job to support her children because she's also caring for a sick and aged parent, which parent has just demanded that she has the right to autonomously choose her own death on her own terms?

What are you doing to the angry, frustrated teenager who feels his parents have just missed one game/contest/honors assembly/college visit too many because they are tied up caring for an aged or sick relative who isn't even grateful for all they do, and has claimed he'll be the sole arbiter of when this will end? Won't that full grown but still immature man/boy start to feel, that Grampa has the pills; why doesn't he just take them?

What about the caretaker who wants to take better care of her kids? Who wants the freedom to take them on vacations? Or the money to buy them the things they claim other parents are buying their friends? Who sees their childhood passing by while she's otherwise preoccupied?

We each and everyone of us can stand to the task of what others around us may see as pretty overwhelming tasks when they are our tasks, our duties, our burdens, and we know they must be carried. But when we are convinced that they are not really necessary, or that there's an easier, more compassionate way, then the bearable becomes unbearable.

I believe that not only will some sick and elderly people be murdered by greedy heirs, but perhaps more of them will be murdered by those who love them, and ordinary Vermonters under what will now feel like extraordinary stress, will become murderers with just that little extra nudge in the name of compassion from our state, which promises that no one will ever know...

Don't be misled, and stop trying to mislead the rest of us. Having removed even the sham safeguards from this bill, a YES to S77 is not a YES to physician assisted suicide; it's a YES to physician assisted homicide.

Please vote NO to this very unfortunate bill.

Clara Schoppe

St Johnsbury, Vt.

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