The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health is planning a committee vote on Wednesday, March 7, on identical assisted suicide bills H 1194 and S 1225. There are quite a few undecided members of the committee, so there is no way to predict how the vote will go, but it will be very close.
After the mass medical society completely reversed course last December and dropped its opposition to assisted suicide, momentum shifted to the proponents.
The most effective thing that people can do is make phone calls to the six undecided members of the committee. Phone calls must be answered. Sample scripts below.
I understand that phone calls don't work for many people, so emails, Twitter, and Facebook can also be effective. I enclose some statements that can help you write something short. Just pick one or two topics please.
Please also come on Tuesday, March 6, when we will be visiting some of the targeted legislators' offices and making some noise! We are gathering between 11 AM and 11:30 AM in the fourth floor Statehouse cafeteria. You can also call or text my cell phone at 617-952-3302.
Here are the six members who most need contacting. No worries if you are not a constituent, this bill will affect everyone in the state.
Representative Chyna Tyler, (D) Roxbury /Fenway, Boston
Phone: 617-722-2130. Ask to speak to legislative aide James Jackson
Representative Ernesto Carvalho (D) Dorchester, Boston
Phone: 617-722-2017, Ask to speak to legislative aide Lucas DeBarros
Rep. Paul Schmid III (D) , parts of New Bedford and Fall River
617-722-2017, ask to speak to legislative aide Stephanie.
Sen. Paul Feeney (D), Foxboro, Medfield, Sharon
617-722-1222, ask to speak to Chief of Staff Mike Gallant.
Senate Chair Jason M. Lewis, (D) Winchester, Malden, Melrose
Also on Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities
Room 511B, Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-1206. You can speak to Abby at the front desk, Chief Of Staff Zack Crowley, or legislative director Dennis Byrd.
NOTES: Opposed Question 2 in 2012 and in recent years because of disability rights concerns, but may now be undecided
House Chair Kate Hogan, (D) Stow, Hudson,
Room 130, Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2130. Ask to speak to Madison Louis, the researcher on these bills
NOTES: we think she supports assisted suicide,
SAMPLE PHONE SCRIPT:
"Hi, my name is <your name > and I live in <your town >. Please ask Representative (or Senator) < Name> to vote No on the assisted suicide bill."
If you have a personal story about misdiagnosis, being treated badly by medical professionals because of disability or racial/ethnic background, those are best, just keep it to one line.
Or, you can say a simple line like:
"Dr. misdiagnosis puts everyone at risk."
" Insurance companies take choice away by denying treatment."
" The bill puts people of color in danger because we/they already receive inferior care."
" The bill promotes suicide as an answer to personal problems."
" The bill puts disabled people like me in danger because of quality-of-life judgments"
" The bill treats depression as rational, but depression is treatable, suicide isn't."
" The bill promotes foul play because no official witness is required at the death."
If you do call or write, it would be great if you could let me know!