, Salem, MA

Election Forum

October 13, 2012

Column: Vote no on Question 2


More troubling is the fact that the state could be creating a whole new set of medical boundaries. The right to die is already embedded in Massachusetts law to the extent that it should be. All patients have the right to refuse treatment for any terminal illness. The right to palliative sedation allows patients to avoid suffering during death by medically induced unconsciousness without assisting suicide. If Question 2 passes, a precedent will be set that runs counter to our right to life.

Death with Dignity would make “terminally ill” adults with six or less months to live eligible for a lethal prescription. However, timetables set by doctors for terminally ill patients are far from exact and, often, patients are misdiagnosed. Patients may commit suicide based on false medical advice.

Finally, if Death with Dignity passes, patients will be at greater risk to predatory insurance practices. A similar law exists in Oregon and studies have shown that, as Popik points out, “Not one person has requested suicide because he or she was in pain. In fact ... the predominate motive is fear of becoming a burden.” There is no provision in the Death with Dignity act that addresses the cost of physician-assisted suicide compared to the cost of treatment. Given the option of assisted suicide, insurance companies may limit other treatments to cut cost. This means that patients, when weighing treatment options, may be influenced to commit suicide by insurance providers.

Death with Dignity deserves public consideration in Massachusetts but the initiative that will appear on the 2012 ballot is not ready to be passed. Question 2 is underdeveloped and leaves too much room for mistreatment and exploitation of the terminally ill.


Anthony Speranza is a Swampscott resident.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Election Forum

Local News
  • Ipswich selectmen act to stop clam raiders IPSWICH -- The Southwest is not the only border under siege. Ipswich is taking emergency action to deal with clammers coming across the Essex and Gloucester border on Sundays to harvest on the richest clamming beach in Ipswich. It's not as serious, o

    July 22, 2014

  • Court finds Danvers nursing home at fault DANVERS -- The estate of an elderly woman who died after a fall and weeks of neglect at a Danvers nursing home has won a $14.5 million verdict in a wrongful death and negligence case. A Middlesex Superior Court jury awarded the estate of Genevieve Ca

    July 24, 2014

  • New Brimbal Avenue design to be presented Thursday

    BEVERLY -- Residents will get their first chance to weigh in on the new design proposal for the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 interchange on Thursday. City and state officials, along with designer Jacobs Engineering, will host a community meeting Thursday

    July 22, 2014 6 Stories

  • chism2 [Duplicate] Chism arraigned in second attack

    BOSTON -- When the woman came out of the bathroom, accused murderer Philip Chism was standing a foot in front of her. He put his hands around the clinician's neck, started choking her and pushed her up against a cinder block wall, a prosecutor said.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos 7 Stories

  • Marblehead diver rescue 2 Body of diver recovered off Marblehead

    State Police divers found the body of a 59-year-old man in the waters off Marblehead at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story