Former Democratic aide: Don’t legalize assisted suicide
ALBANY, New York, October 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A former aide to two Democratic New York governors is taking a stand against his own party on assisted suicide.
For years, J.J. Hanson has been a Democratic operative, working for Govs. Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson as part of the party that typically backs assisted suicide. Now the former backer of assisted suicide is taking a stand even as he fights his own deadly illness – Grade 4 Glioblastoma, the same brain cancer that led Brittany Maynard to make a national push for assisted suicide before she took her own life.
Hanson told LifeSiteNews that he founded Patients Rights Action Fund to "inform both Republicans and Democrats, and then allow them to arrive at their own conclusion" about assisted suicide.
"We have found that when citizens on both sides of the political spectrum understand the realities of assisted suicide, they oppose the issue," he explained.
"Assisted suicide diminishes the focus on patients choosing to fight and survive a terminal diagnosis," Hanson said. "It reinforces the implicit and explicit message from doctors, insurers, and government that people living with a 'terminal' prognosis or disability may be better off dead."
"Patients with strong support systems facing this type of illness already face significant emotional and cost challenges. Those challenges only multiply for the poor, elderly, or those without access to health care options."
Assisted suicide is legal in four states: Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana. A fifth, California, will soon implement its own recently signed suicide law.
The director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, Kathleen Gallagher, wrote last week that Hanson is talking not just to legislators. The husband and father will be "one of several inspirational speakers at a training conference to help Catholics understand physician-assisted suicide and what we can do to make sure it does not come to New York State."