Today in Public Discourse Jacqueline Harvey chronicles the spread of physician assisted suicide from the west coast to the east coast. In May, Vermont became the first state on the east coast to legalize the practice. Equally troubling is that it was the first successful attempt to legalize it through a state legislature rather than ballot initiative.
Harvey predicts — and I believe rightly so — that neighboring states in New England will soon follow their lead. Just this past fall, a Massachusetts ballot initiative was narrowly defeated (CBC supporters are likely to remember us actively working to educate on the issue), and last month, an effort in the Connecticut legislature to pass a similar bill was quietly defeated.
There’s a strong track record of citizens and medical professionals alike coming together to defeat bills like this. But this recent news out of Vermont should make all advocates for life more vigilant, as clever, well-funded interest groups work to bypass the democratic process, working directly with legislators, without engaging the public or serving their best interests. CBC will continue to monitor these developments closely. Stay tuned — as unfortunately, we’ll probably be hearing a lot more about this in the months and years ahead.