Wisconsin Senator Points To Schiavo Case To Reintroduce "Death With
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 20, 2005
MADISON, WISCONSIN--WMTV, Madison's NBC-TV affiliate, reported last week that two Wisconsin lawmakers plan to reintroduce legislation next month to make doctor-assisted suicide legal in the state.
State Senator Fred Risser, from Madison, said he and fellow Democrat Representative Frank Boyle of Superior felt people were ready for the measure following Terri Schiavo's death. Risser, who has introduced similar legislation every session over the past 10 years, said people were worried that they don't have enough control over how they die.
Risser said the "Death with Dignity Act", which was modeled after the one that Oregon voters approved in 1997, would have safeguards in place to protect vulnerable people. NBC15 explained that under the measure, people would have to be 18 years of age and deemed 'mentally competent' and terminally ill by two separate doctors. Then the person would have to give both an oral and a written request signed by three witnesses, before a physician could prescribe a fatal drug.
Senator Carol Roessler, a Republican from Oshkosh, said the measure would likely not be passed, because, as Chairperson of the committee reviewing the bill, she has no intention of bringing up the measure for a hearing, let alone a vote.
Many disability rights groups oppose measures to legalize assisted suicide and other forms of euthanasia, or 'mercy killing'. Among other things, they note that in places where such practices are legal, safeguards are routinely ignored. For example, a recent survey of doctors in Belgium -- where assisted suicide is legal for adults but not for children -- revealed that nearly half of the babies that died during their first year did so at the hands of their doctors.
"Lawmakers Plan to Reintroduce 'Death with Dignity Act'" (WMTV)