Facts Matter: Connecticut

Critics of Connecticut’s medical aid-in-dying bill are trying to scare lawmakers and the public.

But Facts Matter!

Don’t let lies and misinformation stop Connecticut from improving end-of-life care.

False claim: Medical aid-in-dying laws lead to abuse.

Facts: Health department reports based on 25 years of experience in Washington, D.C., and in 10 states across the country, show no evidence of abuse or malfeasance.

 

False claim: Terminally ill patients will be denied curative care and offered aid-in-dying medication to save money.

Facts: The example cited by opponents doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

In an interview with NJ.com, medical aid-in-dying opponent Stephanie Packer admitted that her insurance company refused to cover the new chemo medication five times prior to the passage of the California End of Life Option Act and once afterward, before changing its mind and covering the drug.

In addition, her story published in California Catholic Daily about a Medicare representative offering her aid-in-dying medication would violate federal law, which bars the use of Medicare or any other federal funds for medical aid in dying.

 

False claim: Medical aid-in-dying laws require doctors to lie about the cause of death on death certificates.

Facts: Doctors follow the best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how to code the death certificate form by citing the underlying cause of death and not the mechanism.

“When a terminally ill patient peacefully ends their suffering by taking aid-in-dying medication, the cause of death is listed as the underlying disease and is coded as natural, just as it is if they had discontinued dialysis treatment or a doctor removed the patient’s breathing tube before they died,” said Dr. Diana Barnard, a hospice and palliative care physician in Vermont, who prescribes aid-in-dying medication to patients who request it. “It is important to identify the underlying disease because it helps policymakers prioritize research funding to prevent illness.”

Please tell Connecticut lawmakers to pass the Senate’s Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients (SB1076).

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