Dear Senate Judiciary Committee:
Please vote for HB 505 to prevent doctors and nurses from having more power to cause patient deaths. They abuse the power they already have. Please consider my mother's story below. I urge you to vote "yes" on HB 505.
My mother, Sharon Moe, was diagnosed with colon cancer in February of this year. After her surgery, I was told that she may be able to live for 6 months to 2 years. My mother was against assisted suicide and euthanasia and wanted to live as long as possible. She was placed back in the care of the nursing facility where hospice started to care for her. She was placed on a continual feed through a feeding tube because she was unable to take in anything orally due to her medical condition.
From the beginning, hospice wanted to stop the continual feed. My mother was adamant that she wanted to live and told the hospice nurse that she wanted to stay on the continual feed. My mother was able to converse and sit upright within a day or so after being taken back to the nursing facility. Her health was improving and she was doing really well after surgery despite the fact that she was underweight from not being able to eat.
The hospice nurse was still wanting to remove the continual feeding, even though my mother was doing well. My mother was able to tolerate the food and was not aspirating from it. The nurse placed a pain patch on my mother even though she wasnâ€™t in pain. They didnt ask her if she was in pain--they just administered the pain patch because she had a 'furrowed brow'. This pain patch caused my mother to hallucinate and be in a semi-comatose state. She was talkative and looking better before the patch was administered. After the patch had been in her system overnight, she started seeing things and was very scared.
My mother did not get the chance to live on longer as she had willed, but her death was hastened by dehydration and starvation after removing the continual feeding. My mother was not experiencing any pain and would tell someone if she had it. There were some apparent abuses and some subtle abuses.
These abuses will be multiplied many fold if legalized physician assisted suicide is legalized in Montana. If they are doing this while assisted suicide is illegal, what will they do when assisted suicide is legalized?
The recent guest column by Dr. Stephan Speckart and other doctors claims that assisted suicide is already legal. For that reason, I support House Bill 505, which clearly states that assisted suicide is not legal. We have enough abuse already. Please vote for HB 505 to stop a bad situation from getting worse.
Mike Moe, Great Falls
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