Thursday January 14, 2010
New Hampshire House Strikes Down Assisted Suicide Bill
By Kathleen Gilbert
CONCORD, New Hampshire, January 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have legalized assisted suicide.
Lawmakers voted 242-113 to kill the measure. In November, the House Judiciary Committee had recommended against passing the bill by a wide margin, 14-3.
HB 304, introduced by Representative Charles Weed, would have allowed a “mentally competent person who is 18 years of age or older” who was deemed terminally ill to request a fatal drug through a written request.
“It’s not the function of government to encourage suicide in the young or the old,” said Committee Republican Rep. Nancy Elliott in November. “It’s a prescription for elder abuse.”
Local reports say that some members voted against the bill out of principled opposition to assisted suicide, while others said the measure’s language was flawed.
When a similar bill was introduced in 2006, the committee endorsed the legislation 15-5, but that bill later failed. The state currently has a law that explicitly prohibits assisted suicide.
Anti-euthanasia advocates hailed the demise of a bill that they say would have paved the way to abuse of vulnerable seniors and disabled persons.
“This vote proves that assisted suicide is a recipe for elder abuse and choice is a lie,” remarked Alex Schadenburg, chairman of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.