Push for Assisted Suicide Comes to Connecticut
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Feb 08
A push for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide is under way in at least three Northeastern states, including Connecticut, where proponents say they see strong support for allowing doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients, the Boston Globe reports. Lawmakers in New Jersey and Vermont are also considering similar legislation. In Connecticut, which has banned the practice since 1969, at least two bills on the issue have been proposed so far in this year's legislative session, and a group of lawmakers said this week that the first public hearing on the subject would likely be held later this month. If the state's General Assembly votes to legalize the practice, it would be the first state legislature to do so. Oregon and Washington have passed "right-to-die" laws, but they did so through voter referendums, and Montana's Supreme Court has ruled that assisted suicide could be considered part of medical treatments. Thirty-four states prohibit assisted suicide outright, and seven others, including Massachusetts, banned it through legal precedent. Opponents of physician-assisted suicide say the initiatives in Connecticut are being pushed by outside groups, such as Compassion & Choices. "There's no grassroots cry for assisted suicide in the state of Connecticut," said Peter Wolfgang of the conservative Family Institute. "This is mostly an out-of-state organization that has targeted the state of Connecticut. They look at the Northeast and think this is low-hanging fruit: 'We can conduct our social experiments here in the northeastern United States.'"