From Del. Kathy Szeliga:
Death and Dying – Tough Decisions
As a new member of the Health and Government Operations Committee, I was able to listen to the testimony on HB 370, End-of-Life Option Act, also known as Physician Assisted Suicide. The hearing was Thursday, February 17, and lasted for about eight hours with almost 100 people attending.
This is an emotional issue, regardless of which side of this issue you stand. There were some very sad and passionate personal stories from citizens across our state, both for and against.
The plea of the disability community is very impactful. Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) face discrimination based on people’s perceived “quality of life” issues. The ARC of Maryland said, “People with I/DD are vulnerable to coercion and trying to please authority figures. One of the top reasons people say they want physician assisted suicide is to avoid being a burden to loved ones. Sadly, many people with I/DD feel they are a burden, even when their family feels otherwise.”
There were many physicians and medical care providers at the hearing opposed to the bill. The American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, and many others oppose this bill. They believe it compromises the relationship between health care provider and patient. They have also seen patients defy the odds and overcome terrible diagnoses, whose lives would have been at risk.
There were ethical arguments against the bill and libertarian arguments for it.
Of concern is the comfort of our loved ones at the end of life, especially those with debilitating chronic diseases and conditions. Enormous strides have been made with pain management, palliative and hospice care. Pharmaceuticals to help relieve pain can make most people comfortable at the end of life.
All things considered, I cannot support HB 370, End-of-Life Option Act, also known as Physician Assisted Suicide. I’m not sure it will pass this year.
There have been so many news stories lately about WOMEN, Women’s Marches, Women’s Rights, etc. We have 11 women in our House Minority Caucus. We are lawyers, accountants, realtors, business women, sisters, moms, grandmoms, and so much more. We do NOT think the women with those weird female-part hats that marched on Washington represent us and we were appalled by the hateful speeches by celebrities who dare to lecture the world on family values.
I celebrate the joy of living in one of the best countries in the world to be a woman where we women are free to express ourselves, to achieve our dreams, and to be anything we want to be. One of many reasons to be proud Americans!
President Trump’s 1st 30 Days
I was recently interviewed on Baltimore’s Fox 45 regarding Trump’s 1st 30 Days. While it hasn’t been perfect, I did not expect a non-politician to have a perfect launch to a four year term. The economy and stock markets are showing improvement. I think things are going in the right direction. In 30 short days, Trump has:
1. Nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Great pick!
2. Restarted the stalled Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines putting people back to work in good skilled jobs.
3. Will do extreme vetting of refugees from seven countries that the Obama administration said are the biggest sources of terrorists. President Trump’s first attempt to do this was not well done, but the 2nd Executive Order looks good.
4. President Trump’s America First movement is causing manufacturers and businesses to stay in the USA and scrap plans to move jobs out of our country.
5. Cancelled the Trans Pacific Partnership and is renegotiating trade deals.
6. Has begun work to lower taxes, both personal and corporate rates that are the highest in the world.
7. Nominated business leaders to transform Washington in his cabinet members.
8. Finally, Washington will secure our borders. When I ran for US Senate last year, I learned that citizens want secured borders. It’s not just about engaging in immigration reform, but also guarding against terrorists, stopping the drug trade (85% of the heroin is coming across our southern border), and stopping human trafficking.
9. And more …. in just 30 days!
Thanks for your interest in the important issues facing Maryland today. Please be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date information.
God bless you and your family!
Delegate Kathy Szeliga