I’m opposed to House Bill 284 personally and professionally. The perspective I bring is that of a licensed clinical social worker and the widow of a man who used medical aid-in-dying medications to end his suffering.
As a member in good standing with the National Association of Social Workers-Montana, I am incredulous that this bill codifies a personal moral and religiously held belief. Criminalizing doctors who provide medical aid in dying strips away Montana residents of an end-of-life healthcare option that our family found to be comforting.
My husband Gus suffered for 12 years from symptoms of ALS. He endured much suffering through the course of the disease and we talked at length about our wedding vow to “reduce each other’s suffering” and having a say in the time and manner of his death. The gradual, progressive deterioration to a skeleton of a man was not his vision. Rather, we agreed it would be better to choose a “good day to die.” Gus died on his own terms, having agency over his body on Sept. 24, 2018 when he took the medications.
HB284 violates privacy, punishes doctors and increases suffering. Urge your Senator to vote no on HB284.