By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Welcome to New Jersey, folks, where you can’t carry a gun/keep your money/run a business without interference or even MOVE away without taxes… but if the State Assembly gets its way, you can certainly kill yourself! With your own tax dollars?
Here are just five of the major problems I’ve identified with the bill passed yesterday:
(1) Explicit consent isn’t really required for a death sentence.
For example, the legislation permits a second party to “assist capable, terminally ill patients who request compassionate aid in dying.” As with anything written by attorneys, the devil is in the definitions. Here, the definition of “capable” is drafted to include “communication through persons familiar with the patient’s manner of communicating if those persons are available.” Ummm, okay? So a next-of-kin can tell the doctor it’s time to kill his or her family member without some sort of explicit directive? All that’s required is a form of some sort “signed and dated by the patient and witnessed by at least two individuals,” one of whom can be anyone provided they’re not a relative, employee of the facility or entitled to property via the soon-to-be-murdered person’s will. Scary!
Worse still? The communication can be made to a “health care provider” defined as “a health care professional or health care facility.” Meaning a e-mail or a voice mail to a facility can qualify? I’m not sure. The law doesn’t elaborate; I’m not looking forward to the first clarity-providing court case which will inevitably occur after someone’s already dead.
The whole idea of “consenting” to be murdered is absurd anyway. Think about it: our legal system prohibits an individual from consenting to enslavement on similar grounds; public policy (and fealty to natural rights doctrine) necessitate government stepping in to protect natural rights in a situation where the power imbalance is hugely dangerous! And no free people recognizes a right to throw away your fundamental rights. Right?
In any event, unsurprisingly, recent studies in Belgium discovered roughly 1/3 of euthanized patients died without anyone first obtaining their explicit consent.
(2) Abuse is rampant in jurisdictions where it’s legal.
Besides lack of consent (far and way the biggest issue, don’t you think???), Belgium is discovering that these situations are nearly impossible to police. It’s easy to see why, right? Just a couple people in a room, signing death contracts on the word of “persons familiar with the patient’s manner of communicating” We’re killing people with hearsay under this framework. Nearly half of euthanasia deaths there were never reported as euthanasia. What’s more, individuals NOT authorized to administer drugs are doing it anyway.
The law applies to “terminally ill” patients. There’s qualification in the definition section but no sufficiently detailed definition of terminally ill. Other than that whatever is afflicting you will kill you in 6 mos. Says who? Can anyone say doctor shopping? And will a bipolar 18-year old teen able to find a doctor who can classify him or her as suffering from a terminal condition? Unclear! It’s only a matter of time until the six month limitation we keep hearing about is challenged; after all, it’s a “right” now? Right?
And then there’s the small matter of mass-murdering psychos…
(3) Insurance companies now have a perverse incentive to kill the insured rather than treat them.
Even before Obamacare kicked in, plans were dropped, coverage was denied and the death panels convened, Oregon residents discovered that insurance companies were much more milling to pay for relatively cheap suicide regimens than doctor-recommended, life-saving treatments. Soylent green is people! But #deathwithdignity? Sigh…
(4) Prosecuting abusers will be next to impossible.
The civil and criminal liability section is extremely poorly written, Save Jerseyans, but we do know it would be a crime of the second degree to do the deed with the intent or effect of causing the patient’s death. Good luck proving that someone, for example, lost a recission document intentionally!
(5) As written, the legislation doesn’t bar public funds from funding suicide.
See #3 above. Get ready for your tax dollars to purchase euthanasia drugs. It permits taxpayer-funded assisted suicide because there isn’t an explicit prohibition on public funding written into the legislation. We should all be able to agree, regardless of how you feel about the substance of the suicide question’s moral dimensions, that the public shouldn’t be forced to fund it! I’d hope.