Vote 'no' on assisted suicide

To the Editor:

An amended version of S-77 has passed the Vermont Senate and will be read in the Vermont House sometime soon.

As a Vermont resident, I ask that all our representatives vote no on assisted suicide. If assistance to die becomes a medical procedure, then what will stop my insurance company or whomever the hospital requires me to give power of attorney from choosing that, as the least expensive medical procedure available to me? How can I possibly trust my health or my very life to a doctor or pharmacist who would be willing to kill me? If physician assisted suicide becomes an established medical procedure, how will doctors, nurses, pharmacists (indeed, anyone in the medical profession) keep their jobs and licenses if they refuse to provide this procedure when it is requested of them? Will this mean that only those who are willing to kill would be allowed to remain in or join the "healing professions"? What kind of students would want to go into the "healing arts" if they understood that euthanasia would be one of the procedures they would be required to practice?

As an older Vermonter, I am grateful to have had two senators in my district who were looking out for my welfare during the hearings, debates, and voting on this bill.

S77 is a frightening bill to me, especially knowing what a bad job Vermont is doing now to protect the elderly and handicapped from abuse, and how this abuse (over 2,000 cases reported but not investigated) is ignored by the Shumlin Administration, even while that same administration is eager to sign the bill allowing physician assisted suicide, should it pass.

Could it be that our governor sees an early death of the elderly and handicapped as the final solution to trying to pay for his health care plan?

Clara Schoppe

St Johnsbury, Vt.

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