The Patients Rights Action Fund has released a video questioning the motivation behind SB 128, a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in California.
The bill, currently being debated by the California legislature, has been opposed by a broad coalition of physicians, nurses, disability rights and heath care advocates, as well as the California Catholic Conference.
According to the Patients Rights Action Fund, assisted suicide would be the cheapest “care” option available to insurance companies.
“Behind the curtain there are big money, agenda-driven special interests and former HMO executives promoting assisted suicide. We also know that assisted suicide isn’t victimless and doesn’t happen inside a vacuum,” according to the fund.
The video details stories from Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal.
Take Barbara Wagner, for example. Her doctor prescribed a drug that would likely extend her life and would make her more comfortable. Yet her state insurance program refused to authorize payment for it.
Instead, Wagner received a letter from her insurance program telling her it would pay for doctor-prescribed suicide.
“The data from Oregon tells us that during the time assisted suicide has been legal (non-assisted) suicide rates have exploded,” according to the organization. “Help stop assisted suicide and Senate Bill 128 in California today — we need to invest in real alternatives, not assisted suicide.”
Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, said a patient’s desire for physician-assisted suicide is really “a cry for help.”
"In every jurisdiction where assisted suicide is allowed, we are witnessing a steady expansion of those eligible to end their own lives.” he said. “The 'safeguards' in SB 128 are illusory precisely because they are arbitrarily set, with no sound medical rationale. In some countries like Belgium and the Netherlands, for instance, we are witnessing the expansion of assisted suicide to non-terminal patients, those with dementia and even children.”
The California Catholic Conference is actively opposing this bill.