Despite celebrity endorsements, fancy lobbyists, multi-colored lapel stickers, printed t-shirts, and the close to half million dollars, even more, that has been spent by a well-heeled national group in Connecticut on getting an assisted suicide bill out of any legislative committee, they have failed again according to Connecticut News Junkie, the Connecticut Mirror , Governing and other sources. This is great news for Connecticut that after public hearings in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019, reason prevailed and, as these things happen, the assisted suicide bill was pulled by its sponsors. (That is how it happens in Connecticut when you control the levers of power, . . . if you don’t have the votes, you discreetly “pull” the bill instead of having the black eye of a defeated vote in Committee.)
Of course, the proponents vow to return, but let’s consider why they continue to fail.
Legislators are exposed to all sides of the issue.
Representative Jonathan Steinberg, co-chairperson of the Public Health Committee, stated that “it’s an issue that has strong passions on both sides.” Legislators are exposed to many sides of a particular issue. They consider the personal stories of individuals, but also the impact a proposed legislation will have on society in general. They must. Each year the proponents and opponents of assisted suicide
bring forth their best arguments and personal stories. There is much passion. I will never forget Sara Meyers of Kent who came to testify on a gurney-like device in favor of assisted suicide, nor Connecticut’s Maggie Karner who also faced her death with great dignity yet advocated passionately against assisted suicide. Neither of these stories can be dismissed and our state legislators listened to them and similar stories each year, weighed the arguments on both sides and yet again, for a 5th year, decided against assisted suicide. Other states should take note because not every state has Connecticut’s system where ANYBODY can come to testify and all are welcome to share their statement with our legislators. It is a great gift to democracy and our state. We should all take a moment to pause, acknowledge and be thankful, that at the end of five very long public hearings (regularly extending into the wee hours of the next day), Connecticut’s various legislative committees have weighed the best arguments of all sides and chosen to reject assisted suicide every time.