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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

VT Assisted Suicide Bill Not Assisted Suicide



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The bill to legalize assisted suicide in Vermont was amended so that it would no longer legalize assisted suicide. The proponents of doctor-prescribed death are angry, and here’s why. From the Amendment:

A physician who prescribes a double effect medication to a terminally ill person, which, if not taken as prescribed would be lethal, shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or professional disciplinary action if the physician warns the person about the effects of taking the medication and the person self administers the medication and dies as a result.(c) A person shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability solely for being present when a person with a terminal condition takes a lethal dose of medication that has been prescribed by a physician.

Any properly prescribed medicine can have an unwanted lethal side effect. But the current language would definitely not legalize assisted suicide. It would prevent prosecution of family members and doctors if a dying patient improperly takes a proper prescription. That doesn’t really move the culture of death very far forward, and so we see the outrage.



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