Author Archives: Maria

Sacramento Bee: Fight for Care, Not Assisted Suicide

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Source: Sacramento Bee

By Marcos Breton

Sometimes you find yourself supporting a lost cause and fighting against friends from the wrong side of public opinion.

That’s me on the issue of assisted suicide in California, which is a pen stroke away from being signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown after being approved by both houses of the state Legislature.

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Sacramento Bee: Assisted Suicide Legislation: Read the Fine Print

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Source: The Sacramento Bee

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The Oklahoman: Laws Allowing Assisted Suicide Can Have Far-Reaching Impact

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Source: The Oklahoman

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board

AN effort to legalize “assisted suicide” in California has been put on hold. The rationales that caused California lawmakers to rethink the proposal deserve attention elsewhere.

This is especially true of arguments put forth by Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a psychiatrist who is director of the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California Irvine. Proponents of assisted suicide portray it as a humane solution for people in the last stages of painful, debilitating, terminal illnesses. But in a letter sent to California lawmakers, Kheriaty demonstrated that such laws can lead to death for a far wider, and often healthier, population.

 

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Washington Times: Physician-Assisted Suicide Often Results from Financial Coercion

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Source: Washington Times

– – Sunday, July 5, 2015

Earlier this year, legislation was introduced to the D.C. Council that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in our nation’s capital for an adult patient diagnosed with a terminal condition and less than six months to live. Although this initiative has been introduced in 24 states this year (not passing in any so far), its passage in the District of Columbia this year risks setting a dangerous precedent for the rest of the nation.

Self-determination and pain relief are the primary arguments by proponents of physician-assisted suicide. These principles of autonomy and beneficence are clearly important in discussions at the end of life. But can this specific piece of legislation protect those who need it the most, such as those with mental illness, and those easily subject to coercion, such as seniors? As a practicing physician for the past 25 years and based on the experience of similar practices around the world, I have serious concerns with this bill.

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Physician-Assisted Suicide Hurts the Vulnerable

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Source: Al Jazeera America

In the past year, lawmakers in two dozen states have put controversial end-of-life bills up for debate. Across the country, there is growing support to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a prescription pill, but only five states now allow medically assisted suicide. In California, a bill that could legalize medically assisted suicide is making its way through the state Legislature. Stephanie Packer, who is battling a terminal lung disease, says she thinks passing it would be a huge mistake.

In 2012, after suffering a series of debilitating lung infections, a doctor diagnosed me with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that causes a hardening of the skin and, in some cases, other organs. Given the progression of my disease, my doctor told me that I had three years to live.

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