More Disingenuity from Physician Assisted Suicide Advocates

As the Maryland House of Delegates votes today on a bill legalizing physician assisted suicide, it has come to light just how much the advocates of this legislation have twisted, if not broken, House rules to get us to this point.

Rather than following the normal procedures, the bill was assigned to two separate committees who heard the bill jointly weeks ago.  After the hearing, there was a vote in which the members of the Judiciary Committee voted (12-10) against the bill and members of the Health and Government Operations committee voted (14-7) in support of the bill. The combined vote was (24-19) and has widely been reported as a favorable report to the House floor, usually an indication the bill will pass.

What isn’t being reported is the extraordinary efforts supporters have taken to manipulate this result and the flat out chicanery they have employed.

House Rules required that the bill be assigned to “a Standing Committee” which prevents a favorable report on a bill coming from the result of the combined vote of two different standing committees.

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According to sources close to the process, Delegate Dan Cox (R-4) moved to bifurcate the vote. In doing so, he sought to assure that the members of the Judiciary Committee would have their unfavorable report on the bill sent to the House floor.  Such an outcome would likely have doomed the bill.

The PAS supporters sought to avoid this outcome by having a number of judiciary committee members who opposed the bill be absent from the vote on bifurcation.  All of the Delegates in question, identified as Delegates Jazz Lewis, Charles E. Syndor, III and Wanika Fisher were out of the room when the vote on the bifurcation was made leading to the motion being voted down.  Delegate Wayne Hartman, according to one source, was literally running back into the committee room just in time to vote in favor the motion to bifurcate.

Delegate Lauren Ariken (R-7) summarized it this way:

The committee members of the House Judiciary had a unique opportunity to protect our citizens from assisted suicide on Friday of last week.  Del Cox (R-Frederick) offer a motion to bifurcate the joint committee voting session, which due to the overwhelming opposition in Judiciary from both Republicans and several Democrats, would have killed the bill and saved our citizens,  Unfortunately, those very same Democrats who voted against the bill in committee, refused to support the bifurcation of the committees.  I imagine they will try to tell their districts that they voted against the bill, but it still passed.  However, when given the best opportunity to actually kill the bill, they sat on their hands and refused to support Del. Cox’s motion to bifurcate.  I am ashamed of them and saddened for our state.  This bill completely alters our entire culture from one of nurturing and respecting our most vulnerable to a culture that see’s the terminally ill as a physical and financial burden.  Dels. Lewis and Sydnor failed to return to the committee room for the vote and Dels. Watson, Fisher and Davis all refused to support Del. Cox’s motion.  No matter their final vote on the bill, they carry that burden on their shoulders and the public deserves to know where their true loyalties are, not to their people, but to the political machine.

Whatever the outcome of today’s vote on the floor, the supporters of this bill have once again shown that they will stop at nothing to push their pro-suicide agenda.  Supporters of Physician Assisted Suicide insist that there cause is noble and popular which makes one wonder why they would need to do engage in such dishonesty and impropriety.

The fact is the more people know about the insidious nature of this proposal and get educated on the details of this bill the less they are willing to support it.  This fact is proven by the constant disingenuity supporters of PAS need to employ to try to get it passed.

Let’s hope this bill is defeated on the floor of the House of Delegates.

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