New Hampshire should legalize assisted suicide

To the Editor:

As many of you know there is a bill in the Judiciary Committee of the New Hampshire House of Representatives to legalize Assisted Suicide – HB 1325 FN.

Yes, this bill will cost the state of New Hampshire money. This hits home for me as my husband was very ill. He had diabetes, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, nonhealing blisters on legs that had to be wrapped weekly, bladder that did not drain, septic shock (twice), c diff, stroke, unable to stand or walk, some form of Parkinson’s, speech difficulties, deep sores from sitting, and more. He had discomfort, yet he was not a complainer. He lived his life bravely and left a wonderful legacy to his children and grandchildren.

The time he had was precious even though he had pain, the memorable moments out weight it. That said, if he was of a mind to commit suicide, he could have. Almost all the medicines he took would do the trick. Additionally, if he just wanted to let go, all he had to do was refuse treatment. If he stopped his insulin, or his heart medications, or treating the various infections, nature would have taken its course.

People seeking assisted suicide currently have options. They can seek pain relief, which is greatly improved, they could use the methods described for my husband or commit suicide the old fashioned way.

What I have a problem with is state-sanctioned suicide. I do not want the government determining who is eligible to die. That is a very dangerous precedent. I do not want when I or my loved ones go to the doctor, to have suicide suggested as an option. That is abuse. I fear for the elderly, with elder abuse rampant in this country, that this will be another deadly avenue to abuse a senior, especially if they have money. I fear for my friends who have disabilities. They are already treated differently, will their illnesses be treated differently, too?

And remember, almost all who are eligible, will at that time in their lives have a disability. Healthy people are talked out of suicide, yet, the other will be encouraged to suicide. I am sorry, but this is discrimination. Also doctor predictions can be wrong. We all know people that have outlived the doctors estimate. They could throwing their life away.

Lastly, when assisted suicide is a treatment option, medical care is discouraged. Just look at Medicaid in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal, patients have been denied treatment, but offered to have lethal doses for suicide paid for.

Because the harm to vulnerable populations vastly outweighs the benefit to a handful of individuals, who have other options, we should decline this social experiment to legalize assisted suicide.

NANCY ELLIOTT

Merrimack