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Legislature to Consider 'Right To Die' Bill

It's an option the Legislature should consider, House Speaker Brendan Sharkey says.

If your pet is terminally ill, you take it to the vet who "humanely" euthanizes it so it doesn't unnecessarily suffer.

But if your parent is terminally ill, in pain and suffering, should they have the same choice?

That's a question that will be before the state legislature this session as Connecticut becomes the latest state to debate the "Right to Die" issue. If the bill that is now before the Public Health Committee ultimately passes the legislature and becomes law, Connecticut will join only three other state that allow the terminally ill to decide to end their lives.

State Rep. Betsy Ritter, who is the Deputy Speaker of the House, introduced the legislation.

“Patients should be able to make their own decisions about the final minutes of their lives. It’s their right and no one else’s,” Ritter said in a press release.

"She and I have talked about it and I am very interested in it," said House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, who represents Hamden. "It is something that I think should be considered."

The bill that is making its way through the Connecticut legislature is based on the Oregon and Washington laws that allows a person with a terminal illness who has a life expectancy of six months or less and who is considered mentally and psychologically competent to obtain medication to end their lives.

The legislation would include protections to ensure that patients are not coerced or influenced in their decision-making, according to Ritter.

"I personally think it's a good idea and want to see what the committee recommends," Sharkey said. "The details are going to be important as to the parameters as to how it gets done."

Last week, members of the lobbying group Compassion & Choices held a news conference in Hartford, CTMirror reported, to encourage the passage of the bill.

Editor's note: This article previously was published by Hamden Patch.

Joe Pankowski February 19, 2013 at 03:21 AM
"If your pet is terminally ill, you take it to the vet who "humanely" euthanizes it so it doesn't unnecessarily suffer. But if your parent is terminally ill, in pain and suffering, should they have the same choice?" This comparison is what advocates for the elderly and the disabled worry about when it comes to physician-assisted suicide. Won't people feel pressured by their family members (and, perhaps, the state) to end their lives? You bet they will. Furthermore, the "safeguards" sometimes prove to be anything but (see: http://dredf.org/assisted_suicide/safegaurds.shtml). If people are in pain, get them the proper palliative care and, ultimately, allow them to end their lives in dignity with Hospice. Let's not start down the slippery slope of active euthanasia.
Charley February 19, 2013 at 08:08 PM
A symbol of obamacare coming home to roost for the next generation.
Shredder February 19, 2013 at 08:28 PM
How does this have anything to do with the Affordable Care Act, Charley? I'm legitimately interested --how was coverage altered for the elderly who have been covered for quite awhile and how could a bill that originally did nothing to alter (or cheapen) end-of-life treatment, and also labeled as socialist, be blamed for future cost cutting bills and legislation that expands the freedom of contract?
Charley February 19, 2013 at 10:27 PM
The current generation, who worry more about health care, have nothing to fear compared to the next generation (who are mostly clueless, for now). In the fine state of Washington there has already been a case where the state had decided that euthanasia would be cheaper than chemo therapy, The state of WA would not pay for the chemo but would indeed assist in the expediting the untimely demise of the unfortunate individual. This particular individual did receive the care she needed from private donations and survived with no help from the state. I don't know about your health care expense but mine sure has increased. Meantime I have no intention of rehashing the pros and cons obamacare, time will tell but something tells me it won't take long to determine the outcome. Good luck!
Charley February 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM
And by the way, in my honest opinion, I would not know what else to call obama's ideology but socialist. Go ahead, rant and rave and tell me I'm a racist, I'm just calling it the way I see it.
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Shredder- Obam's advisor Steven Rattner told NYT "we need death panels" I respect Thomas Sowell very much and he believes the un elected panel of 15 bureaucrats will decide "the level of productivity in society" of the sick and elderly and if the government will pay the cost of care. Costs have not declined as promised and wow it is a tax afterall even after Obama slapped Stephanopolos when asked the tax definition. Read the article and please do not fret about the source because you cannot find any honest article by a left publication on this topic. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/02/Former-Obama-Adviser-We-Need-Death-Panels
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Newsweek cover "We Are All Socialists Now" Feb 16, 2009 Before the government takeover of GM Before Obamacare absorbed 1/7 of the economy Before Fannie and Freddie expanded its presence in most homes in America Before the 80,000 pages of new regulations annually on businesses It is obvious the Constitutional Republic of limited government is being replaced with what would you call it Shredder? Social Justice?
Siwanoy February 20, 2013 at 03:09 AM
He said that to grab the headlines.. the full quote is, " WE need death panels. Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently — rationing, by its proper name — the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget." But in the pantheon of toxic issues — the famous “third rails” of American politics — none stands taller than overtly acknowledging that elderly Americans are not entitled to every conceivable medical procedure or pharmaceutical.
Shredder February 20, 2013 at 06:17 AM
It's amazing how people will twist anything to fit their argument, no matter how demented it may be. I asked you to connect this bill to Obamacare and you chose to discuss how the "current" generation does not sympathize for the older ones? Perhaps you'd be on to something if you brought up that issue solely as it pertains to this legislation, but to raise it in light of Obamacare is comically ironic. As you may be aware, younger people are generally healthier than older people and thus utilize less healthcare, and thus, health insurance would normally cost the least for them. However, Obamacare, in an effort to cap costs for the elderly and previously uninsurable (i.e. those with preexisting conditions), set a corresponding pricing floor such that the cheapest health insurance (aka the ones that healthy younger people may purchase) can be no less than 1/3 the price of the most expensive. I've always felt people are most convinced by their own research, so I'll let you determine for yourself the impact that's had on health insurance rates for the "current generation" --but here's a hint to help aid your initial search: it's tremendous.
Boggs February 20, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Before Obama SAVED the US Economy ! Before Obama doubled the stock market Before Obama ended the wars Before Obama finished off OBL Before Obama was re-elected by a HUGE electoral vote margin!
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Siwanoy-so you are OK with the government "rationing" health care resources? You don't like the term death panel but what is a panel of people who will ration resources and decide which human being deserves care more? The government decides your life is not worth the cost? Scary.
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Shredder-One third of doctors are not accepting Medicare patients and less are accepting Medicaid patients. Obamacare caps costs for the elderly by asking the young and healthy to cover the costs. The youth today is struggling finding a job, paying student loans, owning a car, paying for rent. I don't know maybe they cannot afford insurance right now? Obamacare does nothing to reduce medical costs which is the real problem right? This is spreading the wealth-take from the young and give to the old. Let's see if today's spoiled and entitled youth start feeling the pain when they are paying thousands for insurance.
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Boggs-It is heart warming to see your admiration of the president's accomplishments. We should all be proud of America. Any President deserves both respect and scrutiny. It is easy to criticize an incumbent when you don't have the facts. Obama has continued the Bush policies to fight the War on Terror. Some say he is worse than Bush because he circumvents Congress. You said Obama saved the economy -Bush and Paulson created TARP before Obama took office. Obama owns the failed $1 trillion Stimulus sold as a bill to create jobs(Overall a loss in jobs-cherry picked data) Obama said worst economy since the Great Depression (debatable)- So where is the bounce back that normally occurs with such a devastating downfall?Could it be Obama's policies, regulations, taxes and attitude toward business have frozen the economy? Unemployment is exactly where it was in 2008. Gas prices are $5.00 as opposed to $1.82. Food prices, energy prices up. Americans do not expect the economy to improve for the next four years. Would you be so complacent if a Republican was in The White House and 23 million Americans were still out of work? Obama won by a HUGE margin! Obama owns this failing economy. Perhaps he should play golf with Reid and Boehner instead of Tiger Woods to fix the damn economy!
Siwanoy February 20, 2013 at 03:03 PM
the quotes should have been extended, my apologies, the entirety of that post is directly from Steven Rattner... which is funny because you should have known that, since you quoted him as well. Unless of course this was your first time reading what he said.
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Siwanoy-what is your point? Can you answer my question How is "rationing" services not a death panel?
Siwanoy February 20, 2013 at 03:45 PM
My point is that you quoted someone without even reading what they said... If you want to say rationing of health services for the elderly is a death panel, then the panels that decide on unemployment benefits are poverty panels. Also, "death panels" referred to an optional end-of-life consultation... which was scrapped before the final legislation was passed. Not to mention the entire law works through private insurers and providers (without a public option) and doesn’t nationalize any aspect of the healthcare industry.
Siwanoy February 20, 2013 at 03:46 PM
"Now, more than two years after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the longevity of the death panel argument helps explain why implementing the law may be just as difficult as passing it in the first place. Ubel said one provision likely to receive special scrutiny is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Opponents are claiming the 15-person committee will have too much power over important medical decisions. "The IPAB will consist of independent health care experts who are forbidden by law from proposing changes that will affect Medicare coverage or benefits or to 'ration' health care," Ubel said. Instead, the group will look at ways to cut unnecessary costs and will not be making any decisions about care for specific patients, he said." - http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/news_events/releases/peter-ubel-death-panel-research/#.USTtrjeDhS0
Boggs February 20, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Sandra, lose the Hate honey..... Learn to face Reality... http://www.peridotcapitalist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/obama-bull-market.png
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 03:52 PM
If you are turned down for unemployment benefits you will die. What did we do before unemployment benefits? Why was the legislation scrapped if it was just a consultation? Employers will no longer offer the insurance most Americans were happy with before Obama convinced everyone it wasn't good enough. More Americans will have no choice but to turn to a federal insurance plan. Am I right?
Shredder February 20, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Sandra, nothing you wrote made any sense.
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Boggs-There's all LOVE on this end. Sometimes the truth can sound hateful. I have read that a booming stock market does not always mean a booming economy. http://mises.org/daily/4654/How-the-Stock-Market-and-Economy-Really-Work Do you think the 23 million people out of work care if Wall Street is doing well? Obama picks and chooses the winners -facebook loves Obama http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-15/facebook-gets-a-multi-billion-dollar-tax-break
Sandra February 20, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Perhaps to you Shredder. Sorry, I was responding to Siwanoy.
John February 21, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Why can't Republicans just come to terms, that Obama is just plain smarter than all of them.
Boggs February 21, 2013 at 02:19 AM
GET A JOB Honey, and quit your bitchin'.
Sandra February 21, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Boggs - Why should I get a job when Obama can support me?
B@B February 21, 2013 at 09:08 PM
People who quote Breitbart have automatically lost credibility. But you know, we already have death panels...they are called "insurance companies."
Siwanoy February 21, 2013 at 09:31 PM
let me guess Sandra, you think "Friends of Hamas" is a real group?

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