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Now It’s Assisted Suicide by Zoom Meeting

Wesley J. Smith
Photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Solutions, via Unsplash.

Remember when we were told that assisted suicide would only be engaged in as part of an intimate and long-term physician/patient relationship?

Of course, the laws never required that. And now, Vermont has legalized assisted suicide by Zoom or Skype. The new law also eliminates the previous requirement that the doctor have examined the patient. In other words, the poison-prescribing doctor would seem to never have to actually meet the patient in person. From the recently passed and signed S 74 (my emphasis):

(a) A physician shall not be subject to any civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action if the physician prescribes to a patient with a terminal condition medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death and the physician affirms by documenting in the patient’s medical record that all of the following occurred:
(1) The patient made an oral request to the physician in the physician’s physical presence or by telemedicine, if the physician determines the use of telemedicine to be clinically appropriate, for medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death.
(2) No Not fewer than 15 days after the first oral request, the patient made a second oral request to the physician in the physician’s physical presence or by telemedicine, if the physician determines the use of telemedicine to be clinically appropriate, for medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death.

Strict guidelines protect against abuse! Except they were never strict, and those that do exist are not intended to stick. As soon as people become comfortable with doctors participating in their patients’ suicides, the “protections” touted so loudly are suddenly redefined as “obstacles,” and “access” to facilitated death “is improved” by making it easier to be made dead.

And cold cynics that assisted-suicide advocates are, they know that by the time their ruse becomes apparent, people won’t care anymore. Look Ma. No brakes!

Cross-posted at The Corner.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.

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