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MassResistance forms ballot committee to stop Physician-Assisted Suicide referendum in Massachusetts (Question 2)

POSTED: October 8, 2012

The culture of death is moving forward. In the November election, Massachusetts is poised to be the third state in America -- and the first state in the East -- to legalize so-called Assisted Suicide. It is Question 2 on the ballot in Massachusetts this November. And most public policy polls show it ahead. This is very disturbing.

Currently Washington and Oregon allow it. (There's an ongoing dispute in Montana where a trial court ruled a constitutional right to assisted suicide, and on appeal, Montana's Supreme Court vacated that ruling and held instead that participating doctors have a potential defense from criminal prosecution.)

In August, we filed papers with the state to form a ballot committee -- Mass. Life with Dignity -- to fight this and organize in opposition to it.

The new Mass Life with Dignity website with information on this horrible issue.

Where it's coming from

For over a century, the euthanasia movement has been one of the more disturbing parts of progressivism, which has become modern liberalism. After the progressives popularized it, the Nazis adopted it and became the first government to use it as part of its policy. After the war, groups like the Hemlock Society kept it going in the U.S.

Where it ends. Dr. Karl Brandt ran the horrific Nazi euthanasia program and was also Adolph Hitler's personal physician. He is shown here in 1947 at the Nuremburg Trials. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity and hanged.

Dr. Brandt explained himself like this:

“The underlying motive was the desire to help individuals who could not help themselves and were thus prolonging their lives in torment. To quote Hippocrates today is to proclaim that invalids and persons in great pain should never be given poison. But any modern doctor who makes so rhetorical a declaration without qualification is a liar or hypocrite … I never intended anything more or believed I was doing anything but abbreviating the tortured existence of such unhappy creatures.”

In recent years, as abortion and similar social pathologies have become more accepted, George Soros and others have funded the "assisted suicide" movement as a signature goal of their culture of death. The appearance of the so-called "death panels" in ObamaCare, where bureaucrats will determine whether treatment is warranted for the old and sick, has been followed by trial balloons for bureaucrat-administered "suicide" -- softening the argument that doctors would be compromised by their participation.

How assisted suicide came to Massachusetts

Back in 2009 an "assisted suicide" bill was quietly filed in the Massachusetts Legislature. Most people didn't pick up on it. But MassResistance reported on it immediately. We noticed that the language was almost identical to the Oregon and Washington laws. (It's also very similar to the language of the current initiative.) It seemed to be a "trial balloon" action at the time, because there was little effort being made to promote it. We testified against it at the public hearing, and it never got out of committee.

In the following session the bill was filed again, was opposed in the hearings, and again never got out of committee. They apparently decided that despite the Left's success in the Legislature with abortion and homosexuality issues, it wasn't the best place for the death bill. Among Massachusetts' squishy leftist population, a ballot initiative seemed the way to go.

In 2011, a well-funded coalition of groups got the petition drive started. The two main groups active in Massachusetts seem to be centered around the national Compassion & Choices organization which is located in Colorado and registered as a Massachusetts ballot committee. There's also a local organization, Dignity2012, a who's-who of the Massachusetts left-wing establishment.

Gathering signatures at Occupy Boston

We first noticed the ballot effort at the "Occupy Boston" encampment in downtown Boston last October (2011). The first thing you passed there -- before you got to the communist, anarchist, and pro-Muslim literature -- was a table of volunteers getting signatures for the assisted suicide bill. (You can watch our conversation with them on the "Occupy Boston" video we made, appropriately titled "Urine-Town.")

This fellow was collecting signatures for Assisted Suicide at the entrance to the "Occupy Boston" encampment in downtown Boston in October 2011. Watch the video HERE as he answers our questions (at approx. 1 min. 10 secs.). Note his skull-and-crossbones earring.

How bad is "physician assisted suicide"?

Assisted Suicide is so fraught with problems, red flags, moral and spiritual issues, frightening history, and opportunities for abuse that a number of groups, both pro-family and others, have joined the fight. MassLifeWithDignity is one of five registered ballot committees opposing Question 2.

On the MassLifeWithDignity website we have tried to gather together the best information about Question 2, including links to other groups and their work, and we've added some of our own insights.

Some of the reasons to oppose it are:

  • The bill is poorly written. It lacks adequate safeguards and would open the door to abuses.
  • It's feared that "choice" might not really be the terminally ill patient's -- but instead that of a grasping relative, or physician pressured by government cost-cutting policies.
  • There is no oversight of the death drug, once dispensed to the patient. Likewise, there is no control over the actual administering of the drug to the patient.
  • It puts at risk not only the terminally ill, but also the elderly and disabled.
  • Appropriate psychological counseling not required. No follow-ups with patient once death drug is prescribed.
  • Patients are not supported in pursuing palliative-care alternatives.
  • Oregon passed a similar bill in the 1990s, and the record there is frightening: State health care rationing is steering patients to assisted suicide.
  • The physician's oath to "do no harm" would be hopelessly undermined. The necessary relationship of trust between doctor and patient would be destroyed.

A huge fear is that cost-cutting concerns in government-run health care will only increase pressure on doctors to push patients towards the suicide option. Reports from Oregon and the Netherlands verify that this legal option has led to an increase in suicide and denials of medical treatment for seriously ill patients. Family and friends who witness these suicides are sometimes traumatized as well. How many physician-assisted "suicides" will be truly freely chosen?

Stirring video of a physician warning us

How does the medical profession see this? Doctors' groups have taken an important role in opposing the bill. In the video below, well-known Massachusetts internist and international lecturer Dr. John R. Diggs, Jr., warns about "How assisted suicide affects doctors, society, and you." He refers to disturbing reports from the Netherlands, Washington, and Oregon, which already have assisted suicide. (This is from a talk he gave last July.)

STIRRING VIDEO (below): Dr. John R. Diggs, Jr., warns about "How assisted suicide affects doctors, society, and you."
(11 min.)


  • Secy of State info page here.
  • Text of the bill here.
  • Good analysis of bill here by Patients' Rights Council.
  • More on reasons to oppose Question 2 here.
  • Links to groups opposing the bill, & their info, here.
  • Links to some recent media on the bill here.

Why do the polls show "assisted suicide" winning in Mass?

If this is so bad, why do polls in Massachusetts see it winning the popular vote (even though it couldn't pass in the Legislature)?

It's a quintessential progressive issue being sold on emotional grounds to a population that's largely disengaged. In that sense, it's not much different than abortion, sex ed for kids, and homosexuality. "Physician-assisted suicide" is being portrayed as "compassionate" and "a civil right" that "doesn't affect anyone else." And if you are not for people having this right, you are "intolerant" and probably a "religious fanatic." We're also being told it's a pressing "public health" issue. It's all emotional. And of cource, the media reinforces that. That makes it easy for the average "moderate" who isn't that informed to fall in line.

Death rhetoric. Compassion & Choices activists demonstrating for "end of life liberty."

One of the reasons we've gotten involved with this is to tell people very clearly and descriptively how destructive this is. A lot of pro-family advocates are, unfortunately, a bit timid on that.

What you can do

Do you want to help stop this from spreading? You can do the following:

(1) Donate money to MassLifeWithDignity. Help support our activities to stop this from passing.

(2) Donate your time. We need people to make calls, help organize, hold signs, write articles and letters, miscellaneous tasks, and much more. Time is short. If you can help, please email us at At a minimum, please tell people to go to our web site!

2. Another group fighting Assisted Suicide in Massachusetts turns down $250,000 donation from national pro-family group for fear of looking "anti-gay"!

This is the kind of thing that makes our blood boil. The major group raising and spending money to fight the "assisted suicide" bill recently turned down $250,000 from the pro-family American Family Association, which also helps fight against the homosexual agenda (and abortion).

Why did they turn down all that money? They were afraid of being tainted by a group with normal, healthy family values.

Here's how the Associated Press reported it:

Mass. critics of suicide question return $250,000
Associated Press / September 14, 2012

BOSTON (AP) - A group opposed to a ballot question that would allow terminally ill patients to self-administer life-ending drugs has returned a $250,000 donation from a conservative Mississippi-based organization with anti-gay views, but which describes itself as pro-family.

The American Family Association was the largest single donor to the Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, which has raised more than $900,000 to launch a campaign against the question, which will appear on the November ballot.

A committee spokesman told the Associated Press on Friday that the organization wanted to make sure that the debate remained focused on the ballot question.

Mark Horan said the agendas of the two groups are different and that voters deserve ''a serious and vigorous debate'' on the question, which is No. 2 on the ballot.

''The issue of physician assisted suicide is complex,'' Horan said in a statement. ''The sole focus of the committee is the issue of physician assisted suicide. Returning the check to AFA is in the interests of more focused debate on Question 2.''

A spokesman for American Family Association said he was unaware of the decision. Patrick Vaughn, general counsel for the group, described the American Family Association as an evangelical group in favor of traditional marriage.

''We believe that homosexuality is sinful and unnatural and it's not good for people,'' he said. . . .

The committee also has received large donations from several Catholic organizations, including $200,000 from the Knights of Columbus, and tens of thousands in donations from about two dozen Catholic dioceses from across the country.

The group also received about $175,000 from the conservative Washington D.C.-based American Principles Project. It had about $295,000 left in its account at the beginning of September.

[Read entire article HERE]

And people wonder why our side loses so much.

After this article came out, we called American Family Association and offered to use the money instead. But unfortunately, they told us, it had already been put to another use.