February 20, 2024

Virginia Senate Approves Bill Allowing Assisted Suicide

Critics raised the alarm because the Virginia Senate handed a invoice Friday that may legalize assisted suicide, in any other case generally known as “medical aid in dying.”

Based on the invoice’s language, it might allow medical doctors to present their terminally ailing sufferers a “self-administered controlled substance” to finish their lives. The invoice handed the Senate 21-19.

While supporters say the laws affords a compassionate different to “lingering death” for these with terminal diagnoses, critics warn that such legal guidelines are ripe for abuse, as governments, medical health insurance firms, and even relations could strain weak folks to finish their lives prematurely to economize on medical bills.

“Virginia’s bill SB280 offers no real protection for vulnerable patients,” the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses advised The Daily Signal in an emailed assertion. “Instead, it embraces a profit-driven industry that seeks to exploit patient suffering. This extreme, out-of-touch legislation erodes the trust of the heath care profession.”

The affiliation mentioned its members “strongly oppose any legislation that undermines the patient-provider relationship.”

Virginia Catholic Bishops Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Barry Knestout of Richmond mentioned in an official assertion they have been “alarmed and deeply saddened” by the invoice’s introduction.

The religion leaders condemned the invoice, saying that assisted suicide “facilitates tragedies and makes the most vulnerable even more vulnerable. Legalizing it would place the lives of people with disabilities, people with mental illnesses, the elderly, and those unable to afford health care—among others—at heightened risk of deadly harm.”

The laws requires sufferers to request their assisted suicide orally twice and as soon as in writing with the chance to rescind their request at any time. It additionally “grants immunity from civil and/or criminal liability” to those that adjust to the invoice, reminiscent of medical professionals and sufferers’ relations.

“Society is on the wrong track when the public policy goal is to eliminate those who might suffer rather than address their needs,” Kristi Hamrick, spokeswoman for the nationwide pro-life organization Students for Life Action, advised The Daily Signal in an emailed assertion.

“Students for Life Action supports protections for life from conception to natural death,” Hamrick mentioned. “It’s clear that when people become ill or face prejudice for perceptions of their abilities, precious lives can be lost.”

Proponents of the invoice hailed the laws’s development.

Barbara Green, a Virginia resident with metastatic pancreatic most cancers, mentioned in a press release with nonprofit Compassion & Choices that she was “grateful” to the invoice’s sponsor, state Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Chesterfield, for her work on this “urgently needed legislation for terminally ill Virginians.”

“I plead with House members to approve this bill,” Green added. “I should not have to leave Virginia to go to Washington, D.C., to achieve bodily autonomy. I do not see how anyone who has watched a loved one suffer through a lingering death could vote against this compassionate legislation.”

The district legalized assisted suicide in 2017.

“Virginia voters will be grateful to lawmakers for showing compassion and love by passing this legislation and providing their dying loved ones with the option to avoid needless suffering,” Melissa Stacy, northeast advocacy supervisor for Compassion & Choices Action Network, mentioned in a press launch.

Stacy added that she trusts members of the Virginia House of Delegates to “hear the voices of Barbara Green and many other Virginians who desperately want and need the option of medical aid in dying.”

The invoice’s sponsors didn’t reply to The Daily Signal’s request for remark by publication time.

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