Under the guise of “aid in dying”, Connecticut is considering a bill (HB 5898) that would provide legal cover to doctors who proscribe death to treat illness, provided they dot every “i” and cross every “t”. Worse yet, there is no requirement for a mental health evaluation to be done before the patient takes the death drugs, only that any such evaluation is made when they are requested, and even then a patient could be “steered” by a doctor, hospital, &c..
“Proponents talk of ‘safeguards.’ Nothing can prevent an erroneous prognosis or keep a vulnerable person from subtly being steered. Moreover, the bill’s focus is on the parameters of permissible medical behavior and not on patient protection. Thus, the minimal criteria written into the bill apply only to the prescribing of the lethal drugs, and not to their use. Any mental health evaluation to determine if a person has impaired decision capacity is made when he requests the drugs.
“There is no requirement that a person be evaluated just prior to taking the drugs although mental state can fluctuate widely based on physical factors like oxygen level. It is conceivable that a person could take the drugs during a temporary depression or on impulse. Drugs are to be self-administered but there is no mechanism for insuring that will always be the case. It would be very easy for mistakes or abuse to occur and never be discovered.”
The bill, as introduced, can be read here, or below:
Connecticut HB5898 (2019) by on Scribd