Joan Cavanagh, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide: Another Point of View

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Seven activists identifying as “Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide” presented an alternative viewpoint at a screening of “Prescription for Peace of Mind: An Option for the Terminally Ill” at the New Haven Free Public Library on Wednesday, August 11.

The seven held signs reading “Suicide is Not a Medical Treatment” and “Medical Assisted Suicide threatens the elderly, the poor, the disabled, you.” They passed out leaflets* with nine reasons to oppose legislation allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to those they define as terminally ill. Five went inside to raise their objections directly to the two filmmakers. The screening was sparsely attended.

Presented as part of the New Haven Documentary Film Series, the film makes no pretense of objectivity. In addition to the three individuals whose very sad stories are told, family members who have spoken in support of MAS [medically assisted suicide] are also interviewed at length. In a statement perhaps unintended to be so revealing, one family member, a nurse who also attended the screening, remarks that her reason for supporting the legislation is that the hospice care for her dying father was so inadequate and unhelpful.

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