By Bill Spadea
This post originally appeared at NJ 101.5
Senate President Steve Sweeney exercised his bullying tactics in Trenton replacing two “no” votes on a Senate committee with himself and another “yes” vote in order to push the Physician Assisted Suicide bill through committee.
He was actually quoted in our news report saying that the assisted suicide bill is not really suicide. What? Very sad that Steve Sweeney is willing to play politics with peoples lives. Very disturbing that the top guy in the legislature is willing to ignore the pleas from medical professionals, disabled advocates, patients and families in order to push his own agenda.
He replaced Senators Madden and Rice, two expected “no” votes on the Assisted Suicide bill, with himself and Senator Scutari in order to guarantee a win. Despicable Trenton politics at it’s worst.
Beyond the insider-elites playing political games is the issue itself. In a time when society is struggling to convince people to preserve life, from those affected with PTSD and kids struggling in school, suicide is a very real and seemingly growing threat to our families. It’s highly irresponsible for politicians like Sweeney to ignore the reality of our suicide epidemic and pretend that choosing death over suffering is not suicide, but somehow a dignified way to exit.
I’ve written about this issue in the past and explained the problem with having doctors enable people to take their own lives. Simply put, there is no dignity in suicide. It’s troubling that the facts somehow escape the debate in the halls of power. Only the emotion of select suffering patients who support the false narrative being pushed by manipulators like Sweeney dominate the conversation.
One voice being ignored by the power brokers is that of Kristen Hanson. She’s the courageous young mom who lost her husband, former U.S. Marine J.J. Hanson to brain cancer. Her story is compelling, factual and critical if we’re going to have an honest discussion on the reality behind the push to have doctors help patients kill themselves.
Kristen outlined three reasons why she, along with the Patients’ Rights Action Fund, are dedicated to stopping the legalization of Assisted Suicide:
First, doctors get some diagnoses wrong. In her husband’s case, he was told he had only a few months to live. Those months turned into years that he was able to spend with his loving and growing family.
Second, the proposed law lacks safeguards for patients suffering from mental health issues and depression. It’s a ‘prescribe the death pill and move on’ mentality with no follow up leaving patients vulnerable to terrible and irreversible actions.
Third, and this may be the most frightening part of the bill, legal doctor assisted suicide leaves the door open for insurance companies to DENY life saving treatments in favor of the lower cost option of suicide.
It’s unconscionable in a civilized society that we have political elites that would embrace this barbaric idea. Sickening and sad. Senate President Steve Sweeney should be ashamed of himself. He should also buy a dictionary and look up the word “suicide” before his next press statement.
Would be happy to send him one, even a book on tape if that’s easier.
The last point I’ll make on suicide is that it is irreversible. Keep in mind that all 29 people who survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge REGRETTED jumping the moment they were in the air.
We can stop this madness. Please call your legislator in Trenton and tell them to vote “no”. Life matters.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.