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Sen. Richard Moore Urges 'No' Vote on Physician-Assisted Suicide

Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge) is opposed to Question 2, which would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts.

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.

Neil October 23, 2012 at 07:26 PM
"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." This doesn't make sense. The progress that we've made exists and can't be revered. This citizen sponsored bill is about allowing people who have a lethal disease choose to end their life on their on terms with a doctors assistance. Most patients would not consider it unless the pain they experience is beyond tolerable. God gives us a free will and we should be free to exercise it without the gov't withholding the option. It is humane to give people of free will the choice. No one objects to the practice of putting a pet down that's living in pain from an accident or lethal illness.
Milford Senior Man October 23, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Well put Neil.
Chilimaker October 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM
The question itself "Physician assisted SUICIDE" was a poor choice of words. Why not "End of Life Assistance?? This is not, in my opinion, suicide. When you have a loved one who has ZERO chance of surviving, why prolong the pain, anguish? This is going on in my family right now and he begs every day for the pain to end and for his life to end. So, what do you do? You "visit", you "help" and you cry that this loved one is in such terrible pain. The Doctors gave him 6-8 months and within 2 weeks from the diagnosis he is 100 times worse and ready, pleading for someone to end this agony. There is no overcoming this and he certaintly isn't lasting as long as they diagnosed. As Neil stated we should have free will, but apparently when you are terminal, Moore believes you shouldn't - that right was taken away from you. I acknowledge the questions that Moore bullet points above and thre are pretty much all intertwined - if Hospice was provided the "lethal" dose then all of the above bullets would be satisfied. MY opinion only.
Joanne October 24, 2012 at 01:41 AM
"Most patients would not consider it unless the pain they experience is beyond tolerable." Hi, Neil: The data from Oregon shows that pain is actually #6 on the list of why people choose assisted suicide. Loss of autonomy is #1. Being unable to engage in certain activities and not wanting to be a burden are some of the other top reasons. This bill wasn't really "citizen" sponsored in the sense that there was no grassroots movement for it. The lead petitioner is a doctor, as are some of the other signers (although most doctors are opposed to assisted suicide), and this Act actually gives doctors "rights" they've never had, ie, to facilitate certain patient deaths. No one likes to see people suffer, but this Act is not the answer.
Andie October 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM
I would rather die with dignity then lay in a bed needing help with everything my body needs to do just to stay "alive". If that's what you call it. Chilimaker I'm very sorry for what you and your family are going through now. The whole family goes thru the agony and I know it takes a toll on everyone. I'll be experiencing that soon with my mom. If she asks for me to end her agony..I will. I'm not going to watch the woman who comforted me my whole life...spend her last days dying in pain.
MilfordMomof3 October 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I think this bill should be passed. If someone is ill enough to qualify and chooses to, then they should be allowed to. With that said, I think some changes should be considered though. Maybe have it only be able to happen in a hospital with Drs close by in case it doesn't work. That would also solve the issue with not being able to track the prescription.
Rob2013 October 25, 2012 at 04:23 AM
"The progress that we've made exists and can't be revered." You dream! $100 poison "medication" is a lot cheaper than $50,000 in cancer treatments. Do you think for-profit organizations and cost-cutting politicians will not see this?
Rob2013 October 25, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Healthy people have "free will." But what about nursing home patients who are foggy with drugs? What about someone who is depressed because they just received news they would probably die in months. There is no provison in this measure to give them psychological help.
Rob2013 October 25, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Have you investigated pain management and do you understand what hospice does?
Rob2013 October 25, 2012 at 04:27 AM
The fact is it does not even include that! This measure is flawed.
LovesTheEarth October 26, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Medical decisions should be between a patient and his/her physician. The spouse or family doesn't have any legal, moral, or ethical obligation to be informed. And there is no godly reason why someone would choose to end their life in a hospital rather than in peaceful surroundings of their choice. Not everyone can afford hospice care, either. Our healthcare system still needs work, no doubt, but suicide should never have been made illegal to begin with. Freedom of choice in the matter of one's own personal decisions of how to live -- or to die -- is a fundamental, even god-given, right. Question #2 may not be perfect, but at least it makes some progress in decriminalizing what ought to be an available end-of-life care choice for any terminally ill person.
Rob2013 October 26, 2012 at 08:55 PM
"The spouse or family doesn't have any legal, moral, or ethical obligation to be informed." This is a statement with which I would guess hundreds of millions of husbands, wives, children, and parents would disagree.
sandee November 01, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Rob - Go read the HIPAA law. HIPAA laws are there so it is no one else's business but your own. It is a PERSONAL choice, you came into this world as an individual and you leave it as one as well.
Ralph November 01, 2012 at 11:02 AM
It may be time for rethinking end of life choices for terminally ill and defining how to help those who chose to, but this law as written is flawed.

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