Today, a New Hampshire House committee begins the emotionally difficult work of deciding whether to recommend legalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
The Judiciary Committee holds the first of what is expected to be many long work sessions on a bill introduced last session but held over the summer for more work. The full House votes on the measure next year.
The bill would let terminally ill patients older than 18 obtain lethal prescriptions, with safeguards to prevent abuses.
Opponents call the bill a recipe for elder abuse.
State Rep. Nancy Elliott, R-Merrimack and a committee member, said she hopes the committee will recommend that the bill be turned down.
“This bill opens our vulnerable seniors up to coercion, talking them into ending their life so they won’t be a burden,” said Elliott, R-Merrimack.
Kevin Smith of the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research said Wednesday that doctors should be treating the terminally ill, not helping them die.
“This would put a dollar sign squarely between the patient and the caregiver,” Smith said.
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New Hampshire Eyes Assisted Suicide Legislation