“History has shown us that, rather than empowering seriously ill people, legalizing physician-assisted suicide can result in societal pressure for them to end their lives,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest

WASHINGTON, D.C. (10-05-15)
— In response to California Governor Jerry Brown signing a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide for people with “terminal diseases” who are expected to have less than six months to live, Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest responded: “Physician-assisted suicide does not affirm the life or dignity of those facing serious illnesses or death. Instead, it opens the door to a litany of abuses of and dangers for extremely vulnerable people, and starts the slide down a ‘slippery slope’ towards legalized assisted suicide for those not faced with a terminal condition, including the disabled, and, ultimately, toward active or even involuntary euthanasia. A humane society takes care of the sick, handicapped or depressed, rather than making it easier to kill them.”

The availability of assisted suicide can lead to a decrease in the availability of pain management and palliative care for people and their families who could benefit from these services.

People given a poor prognosis may live far longer than anticipated. Also, the law fails to include some of the most basic legal protections for those considering physician-assisted suicide.

Click here for more on life-affirming model legislation, found in AUL’s Defending Life.