An Argument For, An Argument Against Mass. Ballot Question Two
BOSTON (CBS) – Question 2 on the Massachusetts ballot has been dubbed by supporters “Death With Dignity.”
It would allow a Massachusetts doctor to prescribe medication to a terminally ill patient that would allow them to end their own lives.
Here are arguments on either side:
Jim Carberry supports the measure. His wife endured a long, painful death from a rare tumor.
Listen: Carberry on WBZ NewsRadio 1030
“Over the course of 16 years, she had four surgeries to remove her tumor. She had surgery to place a titanium rod in her neck because her head had become too unstable. She had a procedure where they had to remove her vocal chords because they failed. She had 44 doses of proton beam radiation. She had MRIs and CT scans.
When the tumor came back again, a fifth time, and they told her that they couldn’t operate and that they couldn’t do radiation there was no chemo that would work, they had nothing for her – to help her go get any better to go on.
She said as soon as my daughter graduates, I’d like to end my life.
People who have been giving the unfortunate news that their lives are going to end within a six month period should have the option of choosing to end their lives on their terms.
They should be allowed to have the control that has been taken away from them in great many respects to decided what day and what time they end their suffering.”
Rose-Anne Meade chairs the committee against physician-assisted suicide.
Listen: Meade on WBZ NewsRadio 1030
“Seventeen months ago, my sister-in-law Eileen was given a diagnosis of less than three months to live. She just made plane reservations to go to Florida.
So what this ballot question suggests is that we take people at a time when they are most vulnerable, they’ve just received this horrible news… We don’t require that they get any kind of counseling. We don’t require any family notification.
There’s no tracking of the prescription from the time somebody picks up this lethal dose of (medication) at the pharmacy. They take it home and then there’s no tracking.
And there’s no physician at the end. They say it’s physician assisted suicide but there is no requirement for a physician to be there at the end.
And this becomes law as it is written. So, we’re essentially voting in a dangerous poorly-written law.”