Friday, March 23, 2018

Below is a message that went out this morning from the Patients Rights Action Fund regarding the continuing battle against physician assisted suicide.  Another evidence that God is on the throne.  We are thankful and praise God for this victory.  
Many more battles in this war are to come.  I testified this last Tuesday at the Connecticut Public Health Committee hearing and I believe that we will be successful in seeing this bill rejected, but we don't take these victories for granted and continue to work.  
St Augustine has been quoted as saying:  "Work as if everything depended on you and pray as if everything depended on God".   

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health held a poll vote today and the result is that both the House and Senate assisted suicide bills were sent to a study committee, effectively killing the bills for this legislative session! This is a huge victory – Massachusetts was one of the big targeted states for Compassion and Choices.   
            The odds were formidable:  40 bill sponsors, the media, and four full-time paid employees working for Compassion and Choices in the state.  The Massachusetts Alliance did a commendable job in defeating the bills.   Many testified at a public hearing; 25 doctors held a Doctors' Day at the State House; the doctors and members of the disability community visited committee members on a continual basis; the disability community die legislative briefings; and constituents held district meetings with committee members.  The Patients Rights Action Fund assisted the Alliance in training and strategy and put together the Doctor’s Day.  Aides said that in the end, they were counting calls asking for the bills to be defeated which contributed significantly to the defeat.    Congratulations and kudos to the Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide, Second Thoughts Massachusetts and our physicians.

Friday, March 2, 2018

02 March 2018

Physician assisted suicide has again come to the Connecticut legislature as of today.  Raised HB 5417 says it is:  "To allow a physician to dispense or prescribe medication at the request of a mentally competent patient that has a terminal illness that such patient may self-administer to bring about his or her death."

This has been formally defeated three years in a row and advocates stepped back to regroup but are back to push this immoral, unethical and dangerous concept.  

There are many other avenues to pursue for end of life care that don't require making your health care professional complicit in your death rather than the time-honored tradition of being a healer and not your killer. 

https://tinyurl.com/ybhanyfa

Call or write your state senator and representative to tell them that this is a dangerous bill and concept to bring into this state.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

THIS IS RE-POSTED FROM THE PATIENTS RIGHTS ACTION FUND MESSAGE.


It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that JJ Hanson passed away on December 30 peacefully at home surrounded by his family and their love.  The world and our cause have lost a courageous, charismatic and inspirational leader whose short life was dedicated to service to others.  To know him was to love him.  JJ is survived by his beloved wife, Kristen, and two young sons, James and Lucas. 

The New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide released the following life summation and tribute to JJ Hanson. 

NYAAAS Mourns the Passing of J.J. Hanson

Albany, NY - On December 30, 2017, following a valiant battle with cancer, J.J. Hanson passed away surrounded by family and friends. 
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, J.J. was diagnosed with glioblastoma--an aggressive form of brain cancer--in May 2014. Thirty-three years of age at the time, J.J. was told that he had four months to live; however, he proved the doctors wrong. After J.J. underwent a grueling regimen of surgery, chemotherapy, and an experimental treatment, his cancer subsided. 
Following his recovery, J.J. became a national advocate for the terminally ill. In his role as President of the Patients' Rights Action Fund, J.J. worked to prevent the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in New York and other states. J.J.'s experience with cancer, together with his professional background in government, equipped him to be a remarkably effective leader, communicator, and influencer. J.J. also created a blog to share information about his journey with glioblastoma; the blog,YouCantHurtSteel.com, derives its name from J.J.'s family motto, "You Can't Hurt Steel."
J.J. Hanson outlived his initial prognosis by more than three years, and his life story has been an encouragement and an inspiration to cancer survivors and many others across the country. He is survived by his wife, Kristen, and their two sons.
The New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide mourns the passing of our treasured colleague and friend. We will miss J.J.'s leadership, his optimism, his selflessness, his tenacity, and his willingness to draw upon his own difficult experiences to advocate for others facing challenging medical problems. We can unequivocally say that J.J. Hanson's life--despite its brevity--made the world a better place for those who will come after him. 


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Today I was reading John Wesley’s very last letter, written on his deathbed, and it went to William Wilberforce, the Englishman who led an almost 20 year battle to see slavery in England outlawed.  No doubt he often despaired and felt like giving up, but his passion and calling were such, that he continued the fight until the last days of his life saw that realization.  

John Wesley wrote to him: “unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils.  But if God be for you, who can be against you?  Are all of them together stronger than God?  O be not weary of well-doing!  Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might…”

200 years later, that opposition hasn’t gone away.  To be sure, it has increased exponentially to where Christian witnesses feel more isolated than ever before.  But, be encouraged because we work toward an already assured victory in standing for the truth of Scripture.  

There are many fronts or aspects to the battle with which we fight, whether physician assisted suicide, abortion, right of conscience, sexuality issues, human trafficking and the list goes on, but to echo John Wesley “are all of them together stronger than God?”  Of course the answer is a resounding no!


Stay the course fellow soldiers.  The apostle Paul said that after putting on the full armor of God, having done everything, to simply stand.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

http://tinyurl.com/ybds5kke

We need to be in prayer for our Canadian counterparts who are facing battles in Canada that are gaining traction.  
The enemy is not idle and not giving up.  We are either moving forward or backward but there is no neutrality in this spiritual battle.  Putting our heads in the sand accomplishes nothing except to blind us to the truth.

Friday, July 28, 2017

As Connecticut state director for the American Academy of Medical Ethics, I and my fellow state directors, along with many others, face a number of ethical challenges.  Certainly, one of the major issues is Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS), but a number of others are also important for us to be vigilant in challenging:  Right of conscience, abortion, cloning, stem cell research to name several.

One of the issues we all face is end of life decision making.  This is not only for those of us that are moving into the latter half of our lives, but for younger people who are considering decisions that could prove dangerous.

Below is a link from CMDA's website regarding a recent "conversation" that Dr. Stevens had with a robot.  I encourage you to take five or ten minutes and carefully read this.

https://cmda.org/resources/publication/a-bot-too-far

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


This is a re-posting of a message I received from the Patients Rights Action Fund.  It is a nice summary of the actions so far this year regarding Physician Assisted Suicide.  
It represents much to give God praise and also an encouragement to keep praying and working. God is on the throne and prayer changes things.  Someone once said "pray as if it all depends on God and work as if it all depends on us".   When the wall was being rebuilt in Jerusalem, they worked while carrying their swords.  "The burden-bearers carried their loads in such a way that each laboured on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon.  And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built" (Neh 4:17-18)


Legislative sessions are officially over for the spring and, in some states, for the year.   Assisted suicide opponents were extremely successful in preventing any more states from legalizing assisted suicide.  In several of the states, the battles were very difficult but our coalitions worked extremely hard and prevailed.  

In the last week, bills stalled for the remainder of 2017 in New York and Delaware.   Last year, there was a favorable vote in the New York Assembly Health Committee for the assisted suicide bill.   This year, proponents were not able to garner enough votes in that same committee to have a vote!   This is huge as New York is the prize most desired by Compassion and Choices!

We learned on Thursday of this week that the Delaware House was going to vote on the assisted suicide bill on Friday.  Our coalition mobilized with one-day notice and spearheaded an intense campaign which stalled the bill until 2018.  

Major kudos and congratulations to our heroic coalitions in New York and Delaware for an exceptional job!  

In addition, bills were defeated in North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Rhode Island as their legislative sessions ended, bringing the total to 23 states where measures were defeated, died from inaction, stalled or were withdrawn.   Of the remaining states, Massachusetts, South Dakota and New Jersey are the ones to watch.   

Defeated Bills to Legalize Assisted Suicide in 2017
·         Oklahoma:  HJR 1009 (Ballot measure)  -- died in committee
  • North Carolina:  HB 789 – died in committee
·         New York:  S.3151/A.2383 , A.3598 “End-of-Life Options” Act --  no committee votes taken, stalled in committee
  • Delaware:   HB 160 – passed in committee, full House vote stalled
·         Rhode Island:  House Bill 5468, Senate Bill 224 – no action taken, died in committee
·         Oregon:  SB 893 (allowed health care agents to fulfill requests for lethal drugs) --  died in committee
·         Mississippi:  Death with Dignity Act Senate Bill 2283 – died in committee
·         Utah:  HB 76 – tabled in committee
·         Tennessee:  SB 1378, HB 1394 – withdrawn
·         Maryland:  SB 354– withdrawn; HB 370 – died in committee
·         Wyoming:  HB 0122 – bill was drafted but not introduced, dead at this time
·         New Mexico:  House Bill 171, SB 252 – defeated by Senate vote
·         Indiana:  SB 273, HB 1561  – died in committee
·         Nebraska:  Legislative Bill 450 – died, not a priority bill
·         Connecticut:  H.B. No. 6024, HB 6238 – died in committee
·         Kansas:  HB 2120 Death With Dignity Act– died in committee
·         Arizona:  HB 2336 – died in committee
·         Iowa:   Senate File 215, House File 299– died in committee
·         Missouri:  Death With Dignity Act HB 524 – attempt to add to another bill failed
·         Hawaii:  SB 1129 -- passed in the Senate and  died in a House committee.
·         Alaska:  HB 54 - Voluntary Termination of Life – held in committee without action
·         Maine:  LD 1066 -- An Act to Promote Life with Dignity;  LD 347 --An Act To Support Death with Dignity – passed in the Senate and defeated by House vote
·         Nevada:  SB 261 – passed the Senate and died in a House committee


Active Bills to Legalize/Expand Assisted Suicide in 2017: 
·         New Jersey:  S 2474 --carryover from 2016
·         Massachusetts:  H.1194, S.1225
·         Pennsylvania:  SB 238
·         Minnesota:  SF 1572 – End of Life Options Act
·         Wisconsin:  AB 216, SB 312 -- Compassionate Choices
·         Michigan:  HB 4461  -- legalizes assisted suicide 
  • Michigan:  HB 4462 – amends criminal sentencing standards to eliminate the penalties for assisting a suicide

Ballot Measures
·         South Dakota:  Signatures being gathered for a November 2018 ballot measure.

From Barbara Lyons, dated 7/2/2017