True Dignity Vermont has launched an abuse hotline in response to the recently-passed bill that will allow Vermont physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients.
Individuals who suspect patients of being unduly influenced to request or ingest lethal drugs, or of being given such drugs against their will, can report such concerns by calling: 1-855-787-5455 (1-855-STP-KILL) or emailing True Dignity Vermont at: ReportAbuse@TrueDignityVt.org.
A citizen-led, grassroots initiative, True Dignity Vermont worked alongside other organizations to vigorously oppose the legalization of prescription death in Vermont. That effort failed with the passage of an amended bill on May 13, but leaders say they will press forward to work to protect vulnerable Vermonters who will be at risk as a result of what they call “dangerous, poorly conceived legislation.”
“We believe our role must now expand to that of watchdog, as well as providing education and a resource clearinghouse for Vermonters who want to be sure they will be protected from coercion to end their lives,” according to True Dignity spokesperson Carolyn McMurray of Bennington.
“The bill that Governor Shumlin is signing into law is fraught with problems that will leave vulnerable patients open to abuse, and will damage patient-doctor trust,” she said, adding that True Dignity Vermont plans to develop a registry of “safe” doctors, nursing homes and other health care providers who will not participate in assisted suicide.
“Vermonters need to be reassured that the end of life need not be frightening and painful, and that they will be supported properly with the very best palliative care and pain control. Enabling suicide is not a compassionate response to suffering.”
More information about True Dignity Vermont is available at http://truedignityvt.org/