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November 1, 2012

Rep. Collins Announces Opposition to Question 2

CollinsJoins Growing List of Public Officials, Health Care Professionals, Religious Leaders and Concerned Citizens Urging Voters to Defeat Assisted Suicide on November 6

Representative Nick Collins (D – Boston) today announced he is opposing Massachusetts ballot Question 2, which if passed would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the Commonwealth on January 1, 2013. Collins is joining a growing list of lawmakers, medical community organizations, clergy and other groups who say Question 2 is deeply flawed and lacks critical safeguards for protecting patients.

“I want Massachusetts to be known as the home of the best healthcare in the world not a place where physician assisted suicide is legal. Question 2 is poorly written, confusing and flawed. I urge everyone to vote no,” said Collins.

Collins expressed deep concerns that Question 2 would allow patients to end their lives without ever talking to a spouse or family member or without ever being evaluated for depression, a diagnosable and treatable condition that is common among cancer patients.

What Collins found most disturbing was that, under Question 2, lethal prescriptions could be dispensed at local pharmacies and public health official would have no system for tracking the lethal dose. Collins added, “It would be nonsensical for our state to pass last year’s Drug Diversion legislation which strengthened how we monitor medications in this state, and then say that lethal doses should not be subject to monitoring.” In addition to this point, Rep. Collins expressed dismay that under this ballot initiative, a physician would not be required to be present when a patient takes the pill, leaving him or her vulnerable to complications and injury not resulting in death.

Collins cited the recent statement by the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians which criticized using the ballot question for such a nuanced and complex area of medicine as a “disservice to the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

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