Our neighbors need your help to stay assisted suicide-free.
We urge every FIC member to attend, if possible, the Massachusetts assisted suicide bill hearing taking place Tuesday, October 27 at 1:00 in Room A-1/A-2 of the Massachusetts State House. I, Public Policy Assistant Nicole Stacy, will be there.
Our friends need our help. There are several ways we can make an impact in Massachusetts, including turning out strong visible opposition at the hearing, as we did here. We understand it will be difficult for some to get to Boston on a weekday. However, this could be a crucial opportunity to stop the spread of assisted suicide in New England, and you will not regret standing up to be counted. Victory is possible, but every effort counts. I was particularly inspired by a young woman who traveled to Hartford from Massachusetts at significant personal sacrifice when it was our turn to combat this awful legislation. If you find yourself similarly moved, please join us. Don’t worry about not being a Massachusetts resident — you live in New England, you have an interest in the public good, and that is more than enough.
Your presence speaks volumes in itself, but you may also wish to testify, especially if you have a compelling personal story that speaks to the danger of assisted suicide. Oral testimony is limited to three minutes. Written testimony may also be submitted, whether or not you are able to make it to the hearing.
Massachusetts’s assisted suicide bill is similar to ours, but there are differences. Please see this helpful analysis from Rita Marker of Patients Rights Council. The text of the bill is here. Our sister organization, Massachusetts Family Institute, has a fact sheet here.
Directions & Parking
Driving directions are available here. The most convenient parking area is the Boston Common Garage. Unfortunately, it is not free parking, unlike our state’s Legislative Office Building garage; carpooling can help reduce one’s individual expense.
Our friends at Second Thoughts Massachusetts have issued the following information:
Enter the side of the Statehouse from Bowdoin Street, take the elevator up one level to the first floor.
The hearing will be held by the Joint Committee on Public Health. The bill number is H 1991, “An Act affirming a terminally ill patient’s right to compassionate aid in dying.”
Oral testimony is limited to three minutes. If you would like to testify, please notify John Kelly.
Send written testimony to both chairs of the committee, Senate Chair Sen. Jason Lewis and House Chair Rep. Kate Hogan.
Senator Jason Lewis’s address is: Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov
Representative Kate Hogan’s address is: Kate.Hogan@mahouse.gov
Attachments are preferred, but text in the email body is also fine. A subject line could be “Opposing H 1991”. Recommended length is one or two pages
Written testimony can be submitted any time before the hearing, and should also be accepted for a week or two afterwards. If you deliver oral testimony, it’s helpful to give a written version to the committee. Some people submit longer written testimony than their oral testimony, and many people send in written testimony without coming to the hearing. Out of state or country testimony is also helpful. We especially invite disabled people and our allies to submit testimony.
Pre-Hearing Legislative Briefing
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville) and members of the disability rights community will hold a related event explaining the impact of assisted suicide on vulnerable populations from 1:00-2:30 on Monday, October 26, also at the Massachusetts Statehouse.