December 02, 2012
Not Dead Yet is a national disability rights group with members in Montana, some of whom are seniors. On behalf of our members, I write to say that we are extremely concerned that assisted suicide, sometimes euphemistically called "aid in dying," could be legalized in Montana.
It is estimated that there are 21,265 cases of elder abuse annually in Montana, reported and unreported (http://www.eadaily.com/15/elder-abuse-statistics).
Statistically, 90 percent of elder abusers are a family member or trusted other. Similarly, people with disabilities are up to four times more likely to be abused than their same-age nondisabled peers.
In Oregon and Washington, legal assisted suicide has opened new paths of abuse against persons who "qualify" to use these laws. A more obvious problem is a complete lack of oversight when the lethal drug is administered. If an abuser were to administer the drug without the person's consent, who would know?
It is simply naive to suggest that assisted suicide can be added to the array of medical treatment options, without taking into account the harsh realities of elder abuse and the related potential for coercion.
For more information about problems with legalization of assisted suicide, please see www.notdeadyet.org and www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org.Diane Coleman,
Not Dead Yet,
Rochester, New York
Also published in the Ravalli Republic at
Hamilton Theater Protest
- Sign Our Petition!
- Judge Hears Assisted Suicide Arguments
- MAAS Wins First Round in Board Lawsuit!
- Contact us
- SB 202 Dead!
- Beware of Vultures
- Montana Lawyer Article
- Baxter Case Analysis
- A Short History of Assisted Suicide in Montana
- Laws Against Assisted Suicide are Constitutional
- The Oregon Studies are Invalid
- Charlton Letter to Physicians
- About Us
- Quick Facts About Assisted Suicide
- MAAS lawsuit will keep assisted suicide illegal
- What People Mean When They Say They Want to Die
- MAAS appeals Medical Examiner Board Lawsuit
- Compassion & Choices is the Hemlock Society
- A Message to our Supporters
- Bradley Williams Takes on Compassion & Choices
- Increased Reports of Involuntary Deaths
- Rapist charged with "aiding or soliciting suicide"
- Hamilton Theater Protest
- The "Oregon Experience" includes Murder-Suicide