Capitol Hill Report: Physician-Assisted Suicide

September 30, 2017

Physician-Assisted Suicide

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) has introduced a resolution (H. Con. Res. 80) condemning physician-assisted suicide.  This resolution echoes the sentiment of many diverse, bipartisan groups that this act is harmful to individuals and families across our nation.

Physician-assisted suicide has been pushed by those in support as a compassionate measure and a way to “die with dignity.”  The truth is that this act is far more dangerous than what is being presented.  This has opened a door for insurance companies, medical professionals, and individuals with nefarious intentions to take advantage of someone with an illness.

Patients of both state-funded and private insurance have faced pressure to end their life.  In California and Oregon, patients have received statements from their insurance provider that they will cover assisted suicide drugs, but will not cover life-saving treatments, such as chemotherapy, for their illness.

Aside from the pressure of insurance companies, the abuse from medical professionals and individuals is inevitable.  The lack of accountability measures leaves room for discrimination against a person who may be elderly or has a physical or mental disability. Without any type of follow-up after dispensing the drug, one may use their prescription to harm others.

In the past year, twenty-eight states have introduced bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide, but none have succeeded thus far.  Additionally, five state-assisted suicide bans were challenged in their courts and all failed.

Even with the recent successes of blocking supportive measures of physician-assisted suicide, the fight is far from over.  Eagle Forum will track the progress of this resolution and future measures to protect life in this way.

Legislative Updates

  • There will be no vote on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill.  Without the support of a small group of Republicans, there were not enough votes to pass.