This blog is for the issues in our community.

Regarding SB 128
IHSS Consumers Union
First, the disAbility community has not come together on this subject never mind this bill.  Few people are opposed to choice in the right to live or die as a concept.  The bill is the problem.  The motive for the bill is a problem.  This is one person’s will being put forward. Ms. Maynard’s Mom may be simply promoting her daughters dying wish for California but the media circus, the people preparing Mom and the prepared comments are a problem.  The split medical community is a problem.  Oncologists and the medical associations are not united on this bill.
No one will ever say that any parent should ever outline their kids.  It is gut wrenching, heart rendering and conscience busting.  Everyone cries for the entire family.  At the hearing, the poster sized photo of Mr. Maynard’s picture on the cover of People magazine was a terrible thing to see. Passing around pictures of Ms. Maynard was a terrible thing to see.
No, the bill is indeed deficient in every aspect.   This bill is designed for the, as Occupy Wall Street said, the 1%.  We, disAbility rights advocates, represent the 99%.  This bill and the concept does not address those who are institutionalized either in acute care facilities, rehab facilities or long term care facilities; those with conservators or guardians and those with little to no support systems in place. Apparently doctor shopping is common place as not all doctors will agree to your wish.  We all know DNR’s are routinely ignored.
At the hearing on Wednesday, one of the best comments from the proponents was that, in Oregon, a majority of people who got the prescription for the deadly combination pills, filled the prescription but never took them.  The best comment for the opponents was that we have a major prescription drug crisis among teenagers using mom and/or dad’s prescriptions for Oxy or sleep aides or other drugs.  Oregon cannot or will not say how many of the filed prescriptions kept in the medicine cabinet were abused, how many accidental uses or unintended deaths from this as they are not keeping records.  Why not??!!
This bill does not protect anyone but give immunity to the practioners assisting the suicide.  The Hemlock Society changed their name to Compassionate Choice when the Oregon bill was introduced 17 years ago and their yellow T Shirts were worn by hundreds of women, few men, no one specifically from the disAbility community, who went to the microphone and spoke to support the bill.
Please, everyone, read the bill, have your own personal opinions and make sure any and all comments sent to the legislators are received.  Wednesday’s hearing was the first of many.  we must all be diligent in continuing to read the bill as amendments will be added that may change the content and the entire intent of the bill.  Lobbyists have a way of doing that.
Ruthee
My two cents worth on SB 128 physician assistant suicide. Thanks Shane. Unfortunately two very important points were left out of what had to be a short story and it really isn’t. One point is that so many of us with disabilities had their parents told at the time of our disabling incidents that we would be vegetables or live only a few years. And The truth is most of us went on to live vibrant lives in into our 60s and 70s. Our lives are devalued. So many people, including many of us before our accidents, couldn’t imagine why people with disabilities want to go on living and considerate it a kind of a mercy killing to put us out of our misery. Especially when people like me then get cancer twice on top of a broken neck. As a former cancer patient I ran for my life from managed-care. I think devaluing of our lives is not on a conscious level but it is lurking there and could cause a lot of trouble when it comes to making medical decisions.

I actually talked to Ezekial Emmanuel when he was a medical advisor in the Obama White House a few years ago. you can Google his writings. He talks about treatment being given based on how many good years the person has left — or words to that effect.

The other point is and I think what is at the bottom of this is the cancer treatment is really expensive and it’s a very dodgy situation to decide who is terminal and who isn’t. So many people have lived beyond the death sentences they were given when they first got cancer. I am so concerned that managed-care is not going to want to pay for expensive cancer treatment to extend the life of low income people who could very much benefit from chemotherapy As Marilyn Golden, said you can’t come up with safeguards for abuse that may occur.

Medi Medis are the most expensive people in the healthcare system and I think many able-bodied people look at us and think our lives aren’t worth living as it is. Add cancer to it and some doctor may think they’re doing us a favor to prescribe a lethal dose to assist suicide. I think it’s a subtle unconscious justification for euthanizing low income people who need expensive treatment in a cost cutting environment. It may be a crapshoot if your doctor believes your life is worth living and if your doctors getting pressure from the HMO to cut down the time of their visits and the cost of their treatments

Everyone knows medical costs are bloated like crazy in profit driven medical care in this country. I think it is nowhere near the true cost of practicing medicine. Why do hospital bills reflect $18,000 bills for using an operating room for three hours? We all watched the TV show M*A*S*H. They made out pretty well in a tent. Granted we now have more high-class technology but it could be used more judiciously if we had single-payer. I saw a story (I think it was on 60 minutes) about a national healthcare program in a Scandinavian country. It was a modest building but everybody got top quality care. America should focus on doing that: cutting the high cost of medical care by cutting inflated profit margins instead of carving years off of peoples lives.