OPPOSE SB 273: Assisted Suicide

 

 

Executive Summary

SB 273 would allow an individual to request medication from a doctor designed to assist the individual in committing suicide.  A doctor would first have to approximate that the individual has less than 6 months to live. 

 

Analysis

Several states on the coasts have passed so-called “Right to Die” legislation over the last several years and SB 273 marks the initial attempt to legalize assisted suicide here in Indiana.   Proponents of assisted suicide argue that terminally ill patients should have the right to kill themselves through ingesting prescribed medication. 

However, patients who have been misdiagnosed, either on their condition or length of life remaining, always lose with assisted suicide.  Assisted suicide can’t be undone if the doctor was wrong, and the patient’s loved ones will never get that time back.

Assisted suicide laws like SB 273 create a perverse economic choice between caring for the sick and eliminating a financial drain.  Assisted suicide becomes a cheap alternative to treatment, putting low-income people and those without sufficient insurance at greater risk.  In Oregon, reports already confirm insurance companies refusing to pay for treatment, but offering to pay for assisted suicide drugs.

 

Thankfully at their annual conference over the summer in 2016 the Indiana State Medical Association passed a strong policy statement against assisted suicide:

(RESOLUTION 16-12) RESOLVED, that the ISMA affirm its support against physician-assisted suicide as stated in the AMA Code of Ethics; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the ISMA oppose legislation advocating physician-assisted suicide.

 

Conclusion

A healthy nation is one where the law and medical community value every person equally, regardless of health, income, disability, or other condition.

IFI opposes SB 273.