Overlooked in the media coverage of and academic debate about physician-assisted suicide: it’s not the people most likely to receive it who are promoting it. “It’s the well off and healthy who are calling for it,” Farr A. Curlin, M.D., the Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities at Duke University School of Medicine said at the Heritage Foundation on March 30, 2015.
On the same panel on which Dr. Curlin spoke, another panelist Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation noted that disability rights groups are actively opposing such measures. Moreover, Anderson pointed out, in Oregon, which has physician-assisted suicide, “95 percent of people who commit suicide are suffering from a mental illness that could be diagnosed medically.”
As well, Anderson pointed out that the widow of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, D-Mass., “Victoria Kennedy campaigned against the physician-assisted suicide law in Massachusetts.”
“She said it was against everything her husband stood for. He wanted health care for everybody.”
Currently, such legislation is “rolling through the United States like a steamroller,” Kathryn Jean Lopez, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute (NRI), said. The NRI co-sponsored the event at Heritage.
Indeed, “18 states and the District of Columbia are currently considering physician-assisted suicide laws,” Anderson reported.