MIL-OSI USA: Reps. Wenstrup and Correa Reintroduce Resolution on the Dangers of Physician Assisted Suicide

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02)

Today, Reps. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M., (R-OH) and Lou Correa, (D-CA) introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of the Congress that assisted suicide puts everyone, including those most vulnerable, at risk of deadly harm.”

In 2019, the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that makes policy recommendations to enhance the lives of all Americans with disabilities, released a report titled “The Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws” recommending Congress enact the resolution that Reps. Wenstrup and Correa have introduced in the 116th and 117th Congresses.

You can read the full resolution here.

“As a physician, I believe physician-assisted suicide fundamentally goes against our duty to ‘first, do no harm’ and puts our nation’s most vulnerable – seniors and individuals with disabilities – at grave risk,” said Rep. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M. “We must not lose sight of the undeniable fact that every life has intrinsic value and is worth protecting.”

“Americans with disabilities deserve access to quality health care and should be given every opportunity available to live quality, dignified lives,” said Rep. Lou Correa. “Our most vulnerable deserve the same access to suicide prevention care and all health care as anyone else. There is so much more work to do to ensure that we’re properly addressing the mental health crisis in our communities–and we cannot stop delivering resources directly to those who need it most in our neighborhoods.”

“Rather than support and facilitate access to physician-assisted suicide, we should prioritize expanding accessibility to palliative and hospice care to maximize the quality of life for patients experiencing excessive pain,” said Rep. Greg Murphy. “As a practicing physician for more than 30 years, I have dedicated my career to saving lives and comforting my patients. Assisted suicide is unethical and vulnerable individuals must be protected, especially when there are alternative options available.”

“Our focus should be on killing pain instead of making it easier to kill people,” said Rep. Chris Smith. “When a society singles out the weakest and most vulnerable patients as candidates for physician-assisted suicide, it denies the value of their lives, undermines their dignity, and rejects their needs, including their need for the best possible palliative care.”

“In today’s political environment, when something has bi-partisan support, that means something. So, we commend Congressmen Lou Correa (D-CA), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), and all the cosponsors for their effort to gain support for and introduce this bi-partisan Sense of Congress resolution which highlights the inherently discriminatory nature of assisted suicide laws. None other than the National Council on Disability, which is charged by the federal government to make policy recommendations for the disability community, issued a recent report that found that people living with disabilities are targeted for disfavored, deadly treatment and face greater barriers to accessing health care when assisted suicide is legal. Our country has a responsibility to ensure that vulnerable people enjoy the same access to suicide prevention care and all health care as everyone else. We encourage lawmakers to come together and support this resolution that exposes the dangers of assisted suicide,” said Matt Vallière, Executive Director, Patients Rights Action Fund.

“Quadriplegics struggling to live in the community, faced with housing, financial, and transportation problems, and the constant struggle to obtain adequate homecare and coverage of mobility equipment from government and insurers, are often overwhelmed and depressed. Just after spinal cord injury or other significant disability, grief regarding loss of physical abilities and future dreams can cause folks to want to die. Doctors who may agree that life with XYZ disability is not worth living can prescribe drugs under the assisted suicide public policy to people with disabilities who refuse treatment. Doctors should not help overwhelmed people with disabilities kill themselves, rather our society should solve the underlying problems causing them to give up. This is why we at United Spinal filed a groundbreaking lawsuit to overturn the California assisted suicide law and join Reps. Correa and Wenstrup in decrying assisted suicide and euthanasia laws and support this common sense resolution,” said Vincenzo Piscopo, President and CEO of United Spinal Association

“The public image of severe disability as a fate worse than death has become grounds for carving out a deadly exception to longstanding laws and public policies pertaining to suicide prevention services. Legalizing assisted suicide means that some people who say they want to die will be offered suicide intervention, while others will be provided suicide assistance. The difference between these two groups of people will be their health or disability status, leading to a two-tiered system that results in death to the socially devalued group. As a national, secular, social justice organization, Not Dead Yet strongly supports this bipartisan effort to counter the many myths about legalized assisted suicide,” said Diane Coleman, President and CEO of Not Dead Yet

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