It used to be that “assisted suicide” was the nice word to use instead of, say, “murder”. Cataloged with Connecticut’s laws prohibiting the killing of another, assisted suicide is helping another person take their life which is exactly what SB1076 was written to do. In fact, SB1076 not only would have permitted doctors to assist others to commit suicide, it would have sneakily removed penalties for any person who pressured another person to commit suicide using the provisions of the bill. It also removed penalties for physically assisting someone’s suicide, akin to euthanasia.
We do like the way Representative Trenee McGee coined SB1076 as “Government Assisted Suicide” in her April 18, 2023, opinion editorial in the New Haven Register. Through her sensitive reflection and others, we are happy to report that assisted suicide was defeated again!
It seems there are endless ways to kill a bill at the Connecticut legislature. This year we witnessed a twist when the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee announced in advance that the bill did not have enough votes to pass but permitted legislator discussion instead. So, a motion was never made and the bill died in Committee without a vote. Please know that each side was praised for their respectful “passion”.
Speaking of passion, Senator Winfield shared another emotional statement regarding the passing of his own mother during discussion of the bill. I hope some day my own children will share similar tenderness toward my memory. His statements are a tribute to the importance of motherhood and a mother’s great love and legacy for her children. His mother, according to previous statements, would not have been eligible for “aid in dying” under any normal interpretation of the several legislative proposals for assisted suicide. We have no doubt, however, of his sincere desire for improved end-of-life care and we hope to work with all people of good will to improve end-of-life care for all families in Connecticut.
Senator Winfield is not alone in sharing stories of people who would not otherwise qualify for eligibility under any of the proposed “aid in dying” bills. We have to believe that some people are either being misled by Compassion & Choices, or somehow think once passed, the “aid in dying” law would be categorically expanded or “safeguards” removed. This is not good public policy.
There will always be another euphemism, some clever marketing scheme or sympathetic story to expand assisted suicide. In Canada, they are poised to legalize euthanizing and permitting assisted suicide for people with mental illness and “mature minors”.
Assisting someone to kill themselves is not the role of the state and we are glad so many Connecticut legislators who after weighing all of the different arguments and language, agree year after year.
We are grateful to God’s Providence and ask for His continued Mercy on Connecticut and guidance in all we do. We thank all of our members who contacted the Public Health and Judiciary Committees and their own legislators.
Please know we intend to hold a couple education sessions as we lead up to next year’s legislative session. In fact, Peter Wolfgang will be a speaker on assisted suicide on May 1 in Kensington. We hope you will join us.