As we’ve previously warned, Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to sign physician assisted suicide into law in California will not stop there. Consider just a few of the headlines in recent days:

I could go on. Physician assisted suicide is one of the fastest growing movements in the country—not because it’s popular, but because it’s backed by powerful special interest groups.

In California it failed to make it out of normal committee for a full vote. It was only during a special legislative session—which was supposed to be limited to Medicaid funding—that its proponents cleverly realigned the committee so that it could pass. In numerous other states throughout the country this year it has failed to make it out of committee, primarily because lawmakers realize they’re about to create a lethal legacy for themselves.

So, what’s the take-away? if you live in one of the 45 states in the U.S. where the practice remains illegal—don’t wait for it to come to you. Start now by calling your representatives and letting them know that such a practice has no business in your backyard. Civic and community groups should begin by educating their constituents of what is at stake when doctors become involved in the practice of killing. And if you’re a healthcare professional, begin speaking out now—writing letters and op-eds to your local papers and joining forces with your colleagues to fight back against the corruption of your practice.

The practice of medicine is concerned with healing and defending life—and in the case of defeating physician assisted suicide, the best strategy is to go on the offensive. Will you join us?

Image by Duncan Hull via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director