Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Massachusetts Assisted Suicide question is flawed.

A letter published in the South Coast Today in Massachusetts by Susan Plonka states that the Assisted Suicide question is flawed in Massachusetts. The November election ballot in Massachusetts will ask voters whether they support the "Dying with Dignity act" or not.

Plonka points out that the proposed assisted suicide statute in Massachusetts does not adequately protect people who are depressed. Plonka wrote:
The proposed ballot initiative, Physician Assisted Suicide, that Massachusetts citizens will be deciding on in the November elections has a major flaw. The initiative does not require patients who request suicide to first receive a psychiatric exam. Without this exam, the family and patient do not know if they may be suffering from a highly treatable depression or some other mental illness.

As a registered nurse with more than 40 years of experience, I can tell you that patients when first told they have a terminal illness may enter into a depression. Thoughts of suicide are often a part of that depression. When the person is provided with the appropriate psychological help, those suicidal thoughts usually leave the person and they are able to enjoy their family and friends for the remaining time they have.

Please vote no on this dangerous initiative. At this time of their life, the patients need the support of family and friends, not a lethal dose of poison that robs them of their remaining time.

Susan Plonka

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