6/4/15: Pro-life response to suicide promotion vote of California Senate


June 4, 2015 -- For Immediate Release

Pro-life Response to Suicide Promotion Vote of California Senate
Thomasson: "'Assisted suicide' passing a house of the California Legislature demonstrates we no longer have good government."

Read"California Senate passes 'right to die' bill,"
View: Senate floor debate of SB 128

Sacramento, California -- A leading family values organization in California says vulnerable people will be pressured to die prematurely, now that Democrats in the state Senate are promoting suicide as official state policy.

"For all practical purposes, SB 128 would open the door to pressure the weak and vulnerable to die prematurely," said Randy Thomasson, president of, which promotes moral virtues for the common good, and which lobbied against the bill. "People who otherwise could have fought to live or at least extended their lives will be 'helped' to die early, and that's shameful. Is life precious or is life a burden? Should we prevent or promote suicide? Good government values innocent human life and discourages suicide. 'Assisted suicide' passing a house of the California Legislature demonstrates we no longer have good government. The 23 Democrats who voted to promote suicide deserve the public's rebuke. We commend the 14 Republicans and one Democrat, Tony Mendoza, who voted to affirm life, both as a practical value and a cultural ethic."

"SB 128 actually permits a legal heir to help request and even administer the lethal drug," Thomasson said. "If the prescribed patient hesitates or delays, what's to stop someone from dissolving the water-soluble drug and giving it to the unsuspecting patient to drink? This poorly-drafted bill exempts them from law enforcement. And how would anyone know whether this crime was committed or whether there was a struggle?"

"When a law permits doctors to kill patients, and exempts physicians from any liability, that's a license to coerce, if not a license to kill," Thomasson said. "How opposite from the Hippocratic Oath, where physicians pledge, 'I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan.'"

"This bad bill promotes deception among doctors," Thomasson noted. "SB 128 does not require a doctor to write 'suicide' or 'physician-assisted suicide' as the cause of death. And SB 128 fails to require that psychiatrist expert confirm the patient 'has the ability to understand the nature and consequences of a health care decision the ability to understand its significant benefits, risks, and alternatives, and the ability to make and communicate an informed decisions to health care providers.' What's more, SB 128 exempts doctors prescribing these poison pills from any and all liability. This poorly-drafted bill will result in unreported coercion to usher in early deaths that will save hospitals and insurance companies money. Because some patients are cheaper dead than alive!"

"The pain argument is a fabrication," Thomasson continued. "Not only are today's pain-compliance therapies so advanced as to largely extinguish pain, Oregonians requesting physician-assisted suicide do not cite pain as a major concern. Instead, they're concerned about loss of independence, ability, and 'dignity.' Yet these are marks of depression and no depressed person should be offered suicide. A 21-year-old, hospitalized after receiving serious injuries in an auto accident, could have similar complaints. SB 128 essentially targets depressed people who, rightly or wrongly, have been labeled 'terminal,' and hands them the equivalent of a loaded gun. This is not good public policy, and flies in the face of existing suicide prevention programs that are part of Prop. 63."

"If 'assisted suicide' becomes the law, you can expect suicide to gain in popularity," Thomasson said. "Look at the rash of copycat suicides in Palo Alto, where nearly every year one or more teenagers throw themselves in front of a train. Look at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, where numerous suicides have necessitated a suicide-prevention telephone and posted sign, reading "There is hope, make the call." Look how the rate of 'conventional' suicides are running rampant in Oregon, with hospitals reporting an alarming rate of 'self-inflicted' suicide attempts, making suicide the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults. It's clear that promoting one kind of suicide promotes suicide in general."

From the Oregon Public Health Division, 2012: "Suicides in Oregon: Trends and Risk Factors":

"Suicide is an important public health problem in Oregon. Health surveys conducted in 2008 and 2009 show that approximately 15 percent of teens and four percent of adults ages 18 and older had serious thoughts of suicide during the past year; and about five percent of teens and 0.4 percent of adults made a suicide attempt in the past year. In 2010, there were 685 Oregonians who died by suicide and more than 2,000 hospitalizations due to suicide attempts. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Oregonians ages 15-34, and the 8th leading cause of death among all ages in Oregon. The cost of suicide is enormous. In 2010 alone, self-inflicted injury hospitalization charges exceeded 41 million dollars; and the estimate of total lifetime cost of suicide in Oregon was over 680 million dollars. The loss to families and communities broadens the impact of each death."

-- end -- is a leading West Coast nonprofit, nonpartisan organization standing strong for moral virtues for the common good. We represent children and families in the areas of marriage and family, parental rights, the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, financial freedom, and back-to-basics education.



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