Letter: Support Senator Sears on this issue

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I commend Senator Dick Sears for his continuing opposition to bill S.103 proposing physician-assisted suicide and his work to keep the bill from getting to the Senate floor for a vote. As a result he is getting tremendous pressure from fellow Democrats and Governor Shumlin. He is also getting letters from around the country supporting the physician assisted suicide bill. Those of us who oppose the bill should write Sen. Sears encouraging him to maintain his resistance against the bill thus preventing it from becoming law.

I was in Montpelier last week, March 14, when the bill was before the committee to hear witnesses for and against the bill. While there I noticed the number of people wearing stickers opposing the bill outnumbered, by at least 4 to 1, those wearing stickers supporting the bill. This bill should be put on a referendum so the people of Vermont could decide, but this won't happen because the proponents of the bill know it would be defeated.

I have read this bill and it is totally ridiculous. I would be ashamed to have my name associated with it. I found at least two dozen statements or requirements, which were inadequate and indefensible. I will point out only one. One paragraph requires that at least two people witness the signing and dating of the written request for medication by the patient.

The only requirement for the witnesses is that they be at least 18 years of age. There are no other requirements, so these persons could be drug dealers, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, convicted criminals, etc. It seems they can be anybody except someone who might know about the mental condition of the patient like a spouse, relative, friend, person associated with a health care facility, guardian, lawyer, etc.

As I said, there are many ridiculous statements in this bill, but don't take my word for it, read the bill yourself.

I pray Sen. Dick Sears continues to resist any kind of legalized suicide bill, amendment to another bill or any other process that could be used by proponents.

DONALD NOLAN

Pownal

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