Editor's Note: The state Senator who represents Milford, Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge) is urging constituents to vote no on . The question, if approved, would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts. It is opposed by several medical organizations. Moore, chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, opposes the measure, his spokesman confirmed. A news release issued Monday by a group opposed to the question, Committee against Physician Assisted Suicide, follows:
Sen. Richard Moore today announced he is opposing Massachusetts ballot Question 2, which if passed would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the Commonwealth on Jan. 1, 2013. Moore is joining a rapidly expanding list of lawmakers, medical community organizations, clergy and other groups who say Question 2 is deeply flawed and lacks critical safeguards for protecting patients.
"End of life decisions are some of the most personal and complex decisions that families must make, and often these decisions are left until the last minute. Legalizing physician assisted suicide in Massachusetts would reverse the progress we have made as a state in improving end of life care, treatment and options. I urge voters to join me in voting no on Question 2," said Moore.
Among Moore’s concerns with Question 2:
- Patients with a prognosis of six months or fewer to live could choose to end their lives, even though most doctors admit they cannot accurately predict life expectancy.
- Patients could choose to end their lives without ever talking to a spouse or family member.
- Patients could obtain a lethal prescription without talking to hospice and palliative care professionals, who are trained to help people with ongoing diseases (some terminal, some not) to manage their symptoms and minimize pain.
- A physician would not be required to be present when a patient takes the pill, leaving him or her vulnerable to complications and injury not resulting in death.
- The lethal prescription would be dispensed at a local pharmacy and public health official would have no system for tracking the lethal dose.
Moore joins a growing list of legislators opposed to Question 2, as well as a diverse group of religious leaders and medical organizations. Previously, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians and the Massachusetts Osteopathic Society have each announced their opposition to Question 2.