MD General Assembly Week 6 in Review
Week 6 of the Maryland General Assembly ended on a low. Earlier this week, we informed you that a hearing on the Assisted Suicide Bill would take place today, and you can listen to it by clicking here. We of Red Maryland have taken an official stance against this legislation, and today’s testimony reaffirms this decision.
Championing Suicide, A New Low
At the 3:30 mark, the representative from “Compassionate Choices,” often labelled “Angels of Death,” provided some spin that would make the Senate President burn with envy: “Medical aid in dying is not suicide” and “Medical aid in dying involves individuals who would like to live but can’t.”
It is uncertain as to why the proponents of the legislation are afraid of describing it honestly. The representative claimed that a poll from last year showed a majority of Marylanders in support of assisted suicide, yet she refused to read the question of the poll or use the terms.
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Additionally, she argued that the legislation provides safeguards that would prevent intimidation of the weak and vulnerable into committing suicide, and she explains that no instances of intimidation have been reported in Oregon where the act is legal. However, it begs the question as to how can a successful incident can be reported? Or who would report it? If the witness is deceased then there can be no testimony, and those who are vulnerable are vulnerable because they can’t report such incidents.
Her testimony was followed by Freshman Republican Delegate Christopher West (Baltimore County 42B, email), the lone Republican sponsor of the legislation, at the 14:00 mark. Delegate West testified that his mother-in-law died at home because she wanted to die that way. However, he claimed that in her final moments she “died in agony.” To Delegate West, this meant that she would have actually chosen suicide even though all evidence provided by him suggests otherwise.
Additionally, he claimed that he put a safeguard into the legislation that required a conversation to take place between doctor and those wishing to commit suicide, yet he explained that his mother-in-law had difficulty speaking. How then could his mother have followed the law as he claimed? The good delegate also claimed that the decision would be left to the patient, yet he testified on what would have been best for someone else when she clearly was unable to do so. This is the very problem that opponents worry that the legislation would create.
There is dignity in dying in pain, but there is none in suicide. We all suffer in life, and most of us experience great physical and mental anguish at some point in our lives. The Hemlock Society proponents have created a false standard of quality of life that demeans the vast majority of people. It is a belittlement of others, and the “death with dignity” claims serve to strip the dignity from all of us.
SB 1052 would merge the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Hearing Budget and Taxation-3/01
Upcoming Bill Hearings
Mandate subsidized housing in high income neighborhoods: HB 759 will be heard February 23.
Allow Illegals to Practice Law in Maryland: HB 975 will be heard February 25.
Free housing for released criminals: HB 1151 will be heard March 1.
Expansion of marijuana legislation: SB 891 will be heard March 2.
Gender falsification on birth certificates: HB 1099 will be heard March 3.