Showing posts with label elder abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elder abuse. Show all posts

Saturday, November 21, 2015

California's New Assisted Suicide Law: Whose Choice Will it Be?

http://jurist.org/hotline/2015/10/margaret-dore-physician-assisted-suicide.php

JURIST Guest Columnist Margaret Dore argues that a new law to legalize assisted suicide is a recipe for elder abuse and family trauma, and that it will encourage people with years to live to throw away their lives...

California has passed a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide, which is scheduled to go into effect during 2016. "The End of Life Option Act" was sold as giving patients choice and control at the end of life. The bill, in fact, is about ending the lives of people who are not necessarily dying anytime soon and giving other people the "option" to hurry them along. The bill is a recipe for elder abuse and family trauma.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Why ABX2-15 Must be Vetoed

ABX2-15 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. The bill is a recipe for elder abuse in which a "qualifying" individual may be legally murdered for the money.  For more detail, see this memorandum and its attachments.  

KEY POINTS

1. ABX2-15 applies to people with a "terminal disease," which is defined as having a medical prognosis of less than six months to live. (Memo, p.9). Such persons can, in fact, have years, even decades, to live. The more obvious reasons being misdiagnosis and the fact that predicting life expectancy is not an exact science. (Id., pp. 11-12). Doctors can sometimes be widely wrong. (Id.).

2. In Oregon, which has a nearly identical definition of “terminal disease,” eligible persons include young adults with chronic conditions such as insulin dependent diabetes. (Memo, p. 9-11). Such persons, with appropriate medical care, can have years, even decades, to live. 

3. ABX2-15 allows the patient's heir, who will financially benefit from his/her death, to actively participate in signing the patient up for the lethal dose. (Memo, p. 7). This is an extreme conflict of interest.

4. Once the lethal dose is issued by the pharmacy, there is no oversight. Not even a witness is required when the lethal dose is administered. If the patient protested or even struggled against administration, who would know? (Memo, pp. 8-9).

5. Assisted suicide can be traumatic for family members as well as patients. (Memo., pp. 12-13)

6. If California follows Washington State, the death certificate is required to be falsified to reflect a natural death. (Memo, pp. 16-18). The significance is a lack of transparency and an inability to prosecute for murder even in a case of outright murder for the money. Id. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Governor Brown must veto assisted suicide legislation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                           

September 11, 2015       

Contact: Margaret Dore
206-697-1217

Sacramento, CA -- In light of today's final passage of assisted suicide legislation by the California State Senate, a national expert on assisted suicide and euthanasia made the following comments.

"The legislation passed today is a wolf in sheep's clothing," said Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusionregarding ABX2-15, which seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide (and euthanasia) in California. "The bill is deceptively written to make it look as if there are substantial patient protections; there are not. The bill is sold as giving people choice and control at the end of life: Instead, it's stacked against the patient and applies to people with years, even decades, to live."

"In my law practice, I started out working in guardianships, wills and probate, and saw abuse of all kinds, especially where there was money involved (where there's a will, there are heirs)," Dore explained. "ABX2-15 sets up the perfect crime: your heir can actively participate in signing you up for the lethal dose and once the lethal dose is in the home, there's no oversight --not even a witness is required. If you resisted or even struggled, who would know?"

Dore concluded, "The ball is now in the governor's court to protect the people of California by vetoing ABX2-15. As a lawyer and a former attorney general, Jerry Brown has the expertise to see the bill for what it really is.  He has all the right reasons to veto this deceptive and unsafe legislation.

For documentation, see www.choiceillusion.org and www.californiaagainstassistedsuicide.org

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Assisted Suicide Bill Narrowly Passes Assembly.

NEWS RELEASE

For the original print version, please click here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2015

Contact: Margaret Dore
206-697-1217

Sacramento, CA – In light of today’s narrow passage of assisted suicide legislation by the California State Assembly, a national expert on assisted suicide and euthanasia points out a fundamental flaw with today’s floor debate.

“The assemblymembers didn’t focus on the bill’s language,” said Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, regarding ABX2-15, which is modeled on similar laws in Oregon and Washington State.  "The bill is sold as giving people choice and control at the end of life. Yet the bill’s language is stacked against the patient and applies to people with years, even decades, to live.”


“The bill applies to people with a ‘terminal disease,’ which is defined as having less than six months to live.  Most people thinks this means ‘dying,’” Dore said.  "However, in Oregon, which uses a nearly-identical definition of terminal disease, an 18-year-old with insulin-dependent diabetes is ‘eligible’ for assisted suicide.  Doctors are often wrong at predicting life expectancy.  Sadly, this bill encourages people with years, even decades, to live to throw away their lives.”

“In my law practice, I started out working in guardianships, wills and probate, and saw abuse of all kinds, especially where there was money involved (where there's a will, there are heirs),” Dore explained.  “The California bill sets up the perfect crime: your heir can actively participate in signing you up for the lethal dose and once the lethal dose is in the home, there’s no oversight --not even a witness is required. If you resisted or struggled, who would know?"

“The Assembly got caught up in the concept of the bill, when the devil was in the details of the bill text,” Dore said.  “Hopefully, when it goes to the Senate, there will be a closer examination of the text and the raft of problems in the bill. Governor Brown should ready his veto pen for this deceptive legislation.”

For documentation, see www.choiceillusion.org and www.californiaagainstassistedsuicide.org

"Baker" Amendments Unenforceable. Bill Still Allows Non-voluntary and Involuntary Patient Killing Behind Closed Doors.

To view a pdf version, please click here.
September 7, 2015

Dear Assemblymembers:

On September 3, 2015, ABX2-15 was amended at the request of Assemblymember Baker with the goal of assuring voluntary patient consent to administration of the lethal dose. The amendments create a “final attestation form” and two new felonies. The amendments, while well meaning, do not achieve their intended goal.  Indeed, ABX2-15 still allows non-voluntary and involuntary patient killing behind closed doors.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ABX2-15 Talking Points

By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

INTRODUCTION

On August 17, 2015, proponents unveiled Bill No. ABX2-15, which seeks to legalize "aid in dying," a term that means assisted suicide and euthanasia.

"Assisted suicide" means that a person assists another person's suicide.  If a physician is involved, the practice may be called "physician-assisted suicide." "Euthanasia" means the direct administration of a lethal agent with the intent to cause another person's death.

ABX2-15, is in substance an old bill (SB 128) that failed due to a lack of support. A detailed analysis of ABX2-15 can be viewed by clicking here and  here.

TALKING POINTS

1.  ABX2-15 Is a Recipe for Elder Abuse. 
  • The patient's heir, who will financially benefit from his/her death, is allowed to actively participate in signing the patient up for the lethal dose. See memo, p. 6. This fact alone does not meet the "stink test."

HTML Version: Vote "NO" on ABX2-15.

Below, find an html version of Margaret Dore's legal/policy memo opposing ABX2-15. To view the original memo, click here.  If the memo is too large for your computer, click here and here to view it as two smaller documents.

MEMORANDUM

TO THE CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY

VOTE "NO" ON ABX2-15.  (NO ASSISTED SUICIDE)

UPDATED AUGUST 26, 2015

* * *

OVERVIEW

ABX2-15, the “End of Life Option Act,” seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California is a recipe for elder abuse. The bill is not limited to people who are dying. Indeed, “eligible” persons can have years, even decades, to live.

In Oregon, which has a similar law, that state’s Medicaid program uses coverage incentives to steer people to suicide. If ABX2-15 is enacted, California’s Medicaid program, as well as private insurers, will be able to engage in this same conduct. Do you want this to happen to you or your family?

The bill has a myriad of other problems.  Please vote “No” on ABX2-15.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Updated Materials Against ABX2-15

To view a new materials against ABX2-15, click here and here for a memo and its appendix as separate documents.

Overview 

ABX2-15, the “End of Life Option Act,” seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California is a recipe for elder abuse.  The bill is not limited to people who are dying.  Indeed, “eligible” persons can have years, even decades, to live.

In Oregon, which has a similar law, that state’s Medicaid program uses coverage incentives to steer people to suicide.  If ABX2-15 is enacted, California’s Medicaid program, as well as private insurers, will be able to engage in this same conduct.  Do you want this to happen to you or your family?

The bill has a myriad of other problems.  Please vote “No” on ABX2-15.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Memo to the California State Assemblymembers: Vote "No" on SB 128.

The original pdf version of this memo has an executive summary and index, which can be viewed here. The attachments can be viewed here.

I. INTRODUCTION.

I am an attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal.[1] Our law is based on a similar law in Oregon. Both laws are similar to the proposed California bill, SB 128.[2] 

Enactment of SB 128 will create new paths of elder abuse. “Eligible” patients will include people with years, even decades, to live.  

I urge you to reject this measure. Do not make Washington’s and Oregon’s mistake.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

California's Prohibition Against Assisted Suicide Is Constitutional

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

A California trial court has upheld the constitutionality of that state's criminal statute prohibiting assisted suicide, which states:
Every person who deliberately aids, or advises, or encourages another to commit suicide, is guilty of a felony.
Penal Code § 401

The court's reasoning is contained in a 19 page "Ruling on Demurrer," filed on July 24, 2015. The ruling uses the term, "Aid in Dying" to mean physician-assisted suicide.  The term also means euthanasia. The court states in part:
Since "Aid in Dying" is quicker and less expensive, there is a much greater potential for its abuse, e.g,, greedy heirs-in-waiting, cost containment strategies, √≠mpulse decision-making, etc. Moreover, since it can be employed earlier in the dying process, there is a substantial risk that in many cases, it may bring about a patently premature death. For example, consider that a terminally ill patient, not in pain but facing death within the next six months, may opt for “Aid in Dying”' instead of working through what might have been just a transitory period of depression. Further, "Aid in Dying" creates the possible scenario of someone taking his life based upon an erroneous diagnosis of a terminal illness illness, which was, in fact, a mis-diagnosis that could have been brought to light by the passage of time. After all, doctors are not infallible.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

California Assembly Health Committee: Vote NO on SB 128

I am an attorney from Washington State where assisted suicide is legal.  Enclosed please find a memo and attachments in opposition to SB 128.  Points include:
  • SB 128 will legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia for young adults with chronic conditions such as diabetes.
  • There is a complete lack of oversight when the lethal dose is administered (even if the patient struggled, who would know?)
  • The bill requires falsification of the death certificate, which will prevent legal recourse and justice to patients and their families harmed by the bill.
If SB 128 becomes law, people with years, even decades to live, will be encouraged to throw away their lives; patients and their families will be traumatized. 

SB 128, as written, will allow the perfect crime.  Even if you like the concept of assisted suicide and euthanasia, SB 128 is the wrong bill.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, PS
Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation
www.margaretdore.com
www.choiceillusion.org
1001 4th Avenue,  Suite 4400
Seattle, WA  98154

206 389 1754

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Attorney slams California suicide bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Attorney slams California suicide bill

Dore: “Even if you like the concept of assisted suicide, SB 128 is the wrong bill.”

Contact: Margaret Dore (206) 697-1217


Seattle, WA -- Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, which has fought assisted suicide legalization efforts in many states and now California, made the following statement after the California Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB 128 on May 28, sending the assisted suicide bill to the Senate floor.

"SB 128 is sold as giving people an 'end of life option,’” Dore said. “The fact is this bill is about ending the lives of people who aren’t necessarily dying anytime soon, and giving other people the ‘option’ to hurry them along."

Dore, an attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal, explained, “In my law practice, I started out working in guardianships, wills and probate, and saw abuse of all kinds, especially where there was money involved (where there's a will, there are heirs). Then, in 2008, I got dragged to a meeting about our assisted suicide law and saw the perfect crime: your heir could help sign you up, and once the lethal dose was in the house, there was no oversight. Not even a witness is required. If you struggled, who would know?"