Deutsch to give talk tomorrow against Assisted Suicide Act, otherwise known as “not killing grandma”

From facebook, former State Representative Fred Deutsch is going to be giving a presentation tomorrow in Sioux Falls against the proposed Assisted Suicide Act. (Otherwise known as ‘not killing grandma’)

Make a point to show up and learn about the pitfalls of passing laws to allow people to kill themselves and their loved ones. Aside from the obvious.

Remember: the life you eventually save may be your own!

46 Replies to “Deutsch to give talk tomorrow against Assisted Suicide Act, otherwise known as “not killing grandma””

    1. Anonymous

      “This guy” is an honorable man protecting the vulnerable in our society. My bet is that you are actually the kook.

  1. Tara Volesky

    Here we go again getting Government involved in private family issues. Shouldn’t the patient, family and Dr. make those decisions.

    (…..and the rest is redacted because it’s completely off topic. please post in the appropriate place) – the editor.

    1. Spencer

      Yes, Tara, assisted suicide is government getting involved in suicides. Anyone can commit suicide whenever they want to without government intervention. Worse yet, the petition circulating now forces adults to participate in assisted suicide if a hospital, nursing home, or heir wants to get rid of that person (section 3 carve out for heirs and facility operators and workers). If I do not want to participate in an assisted suicide regardless of my ability to communicate, there is nothing that I can put in writing such as a living will or advanced directive that would prevent someone “familiar” with my mode of communicating from requesting a suicide for me (section 1, competency definition). This petition language, which cannot be changed if it makes it on the ballot specifically makes living wills and advanced directives null and void if they have any language regarding assisted suicide. This IS government (26 section and 3,000+ words) getting involved in my doctor/patient relationship in the most intrusive and unethical means imaginable. READ THE ENTIRE PETITION, TARA!

      1. Tara Volesky

        Ok I will read it. I was just commenting on Pat’s article. Why does there even need to be a ballot initiative? How about that gal telling her boyfriend to get back in the vehicle and kill himself?

    2. KM

      Tara – I’d also recommend you read the Constitution; I’d suggest the Bible too, but clearly that’s a book you ignore. The govt has a job to preserve life, liberty and property. They are here to protect you from someone else taking your life, liberty & property, the govt should be involved. Substance, Tara, bring some substance.

      1. Tara Volesky

        What ever you say self righteous KM. I have read the Bible a couple of times and I am far from a Bible scholar. What does that have to do with anything anyway. My Dad went off his medication and quit eating for a few days when he got his driver license taken away. I went up and talked him into eating and taking his meds. He probably lived another 6 months.I believed he still had some quality of life left. But my belief is I rather have him go to heaven than suffer here on earth. I don’t believe in keeping someone alive artificially if they don’t want to be.

        1. KM

          Tara – Resorting to naming calling, maybe you should open your Bible again. You seem lost.

          Are you God? Sounds like you would like to be. If you can reflect on what the Bible says, God decides when we die. He also asks us to care for our family members, not kill them.

          I do prefer to keep religion out of discussions, so again I suggest you look to the Constitution for our right to life.

          1. Jaa Dee

            Hey hot shot, you cannot use both the Constitution and your fairy-tale book for an argument… Since you know nothing or care about the Constitution you have NO argument based in reality using your idiot bible and laws are NOT based on your religious superstitions.—- Oh, how I despise those smug, condescending, willfully ignorant bible-
            thumpers with the gall to think they are morally superior because they believe the religious crap and think that gives them the right to force their inhumane ignorance on others….

            1. KM

              Jaa Dee – What book do you think our forefathers used as a guideline to write the Constitution? Pick up any of our currency, do you see the phrase: In God We Trust? How about our Pledge of Allegiance? Here let me nation under God. Before I recommend the Bible to you, I’d suggest a history book, me being an ignorant Bible thumper and all.

              You pop in and out of this blog and think you’re participating in dialogue. People are here to have an actual conversation. I may not always agree w/commenters like Gohn, Jones or Emolument Clause (where you been, EC?) but they bring thoughts & ideas worth debating. You keep up your troll, it’s good for a laugh.

              1. KM

                I’ll shout-out grudznick too. I’ve also disagreed with a couple of your comments, one I think was by mistake;) I do get a kick out of your use of third person.

          2. Tara Volesky

            KM you comments are very self-righteous and judgmental. I believe God doesn’t want Government to play God. Also it quite cowardly of you lashing out without using your name. Read the bible.

            1. KM

              Tara – Resorting to name calling again, classy. Clearly I trigger you. I, on the other hand, am not offended by free speech. Did you have a talk w/ your buddy Jaa Dee about lashing out? Typical Leftist: Do as I say, not as I do. Keep toeing that line.

              To bad you weren’t around while the Constitution was being written, you could have thrown your 2cents in about God not playing a part in govt. See my comment above.

              It’s so important to know who I am? As I have stated before, I will not put my name bc I have children and refuse to risk their lives. Let me refer you back to James Hodgkinson, some ppl are easily triggered & actually lash out w/violence. If you had attended the talk this AM, we could have met face-to-face & of course you could have given your intellectual insight about the right to murder.

              1. Tara Volesky

                KM, if there is one thing that triggers me, it’s controlling peoples medical decisions, especially the elderly. I have a degree in Health and Gerontology. I worked in a nursing home and watched how some of these poor people suffer day in and day out. I believe they should live out their final days however they choose. They had my Dad on a restricted diet, no sugar. He would always ask for Hershey candy bars in which they would not give him. I went to the candy machine and bought him 3 bars. Some of you will call it assistant suicide. So KM I will defend the elderly and their final wishes against people like you. Now if you will excuse me it’s time for Bible study.

                1. KM

                  My family has dealt w/suffering & death too. When my 94-yr-old grandma was in hospice, it was heartbrking. Often she would pray for the Lord to take her, but never once did she ask family or a Dr. to assist her in committing suicide. None of our grandparents asked for us to give them “death w/dignity” and one passed suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

                  I’d never agree/sign a paper allowing a Dr. to prescribe pills for a family member to kill themselves, in essence playing God, and from my understanding you’re in favor of this. So which one of us is talking like they’re God again?

                  We’ll always fight for the right to life. The left has gone over the cliff w/their “compassion” issues & we’re not following. I hope your Bible study was productive & your not so confused about how God wants us to care for our families (till the end), not assist them w/suicide.

                  1. Tara Volesky

                    Well KM, personally I don’t think I could do it, but every case if different. I am not going to judge how a person wants to go out. I am sure Dr. Kervorkian believed he was doing the right thing.

      2. Tara Volesky

        Who says someone wants to take your life. Isn’t that for the person to decide. I better get a living will drawn up so I will be the one taking my own life, not my family. They will just carry out my wishes. I hope they don’t get charged with murder. lol

        1. Miranda Gohn

          Tara there are some pretty scary unethical characters out there that could use this assisted suicide as a tool for financial gain. That and a few other reasons I am voting no and encouraging others to the same.

            1. Miranda Gohn

              Jaa Dee as a former Democrat in South Dakota and now Independent we should talk about the SDDP up above in the other thread but we can try to go a bit here. Let me give you an example at least that I can think of. An elderly or person who suffers from depression and has isolated themselves. When they lose that interaction with people they can lose those basic people skills we unknowingly practice everyday that keep us sharp and sometimes have a sense of humor. They may say something inappropriate which is uncomfortable and embarrassing which further affects self confidence further driving them into isolation. They get lonely which makes them very vulnerable to scam artists or a sociopath. A scam artist is not going to be abrasive which is an immediate turn off but will be very smooth, listen, be very friendly and act like they really care. This elderly person will then trust this con artist but will then they will unknowingly put themselves into a position where they can be highly manipulated especially if they have health issues and chronic pain. Who knows? Different scenarios could play out but I hope you get the idea.

          1. Tara Volesky

            I agree with you Miranda. People will do crazy things for money. I am probably going to leave it blank. My best friend was on like support for a few days, and then her family decided to take her off. She died a couple of days later. I think the laws are pretty good the way they are. Thank God for living wills. The best counselors in those kinds of situations are Drs. and nurses.

        2. Anne Beal

          Tara I worked for years in long term care. I have seen living wills abused beyond recognition by people who hold DPOA over the subject.
          The language in them, that the DPOA is supposed to take over when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, does not mean you have to be unconscious first. It means if you can’t file your own taxes or remember where you parked, the person with DPOA can have you admitted to a nursing facility, take all your money, and decide everything on your behalf. I have seen this happen over and over. I have seen people confined to nursing homes far from family members, (in one case, a woman had assigned DPOA to her husband, who in turned reassigned DPOA to his nephew, which cut her son and grandchildren from her first marriage out of all control of the situation) not allowed to receive visitors, married couples separated against their will, medications discontinued on people who were doing well on them; you name it.
          After what I saw I will never ever sign one of those things myself, ever.

          I have also seen physicians, at the behest of a family member, not adhere to the terms of a living will as regards end-of-life care, in spite of a state law that requires them to.

          Allowing assisted suicide on top of the already abused living wills opens a shop of horrors. With a living will your DPOA literally gets to decide whether you live or die.

    3. Anonymous

      That is right, Tara. The government should NOT be involved with private family issues. Don’t sign this petition, Vote NO.

  2. Lee A Schoenbeck

    way to go Fred — if this passes, legislature will be working on laws about when suicide is “good”! Not exactly the message we want to be sending at a time when suicide prevention is a great concern.
    Thank you Fred for your work

    1. Spencer

      Lee has another good point. The petition language requests that the Department of Health promulgate rules across the board to regulate assisted suicide. One can only imagine the reams of paper needed for that.

  3. Fred Deutsch

    Lee, I sent a letter to the editor of the Watertown Public Opinion about that very topic. It’s in today’s paper:

    The Public Opinion recently published an excellent column on Suicide Prevention. Written by Dodi Haug from the Human Service Agency, Dodi provided important information how to spot signs of suicide and included helpline phone numbers to call.

    Perhaps tangential to the discussion, but never-the-less important for South Dakotans to understand, is the link between over-all suicide rates and assisted suicide.

    In Oregon, which legalized assisted suicide 20 years ago, the over-all suicide rates are 40% higher in the general public than the national average. This is consistent with what’s called suicide contagion.

    When we place suicide in a positive light, it has an impact on impressionable young people. The law is a teacher. If we “teach” South Dakota residents that suicide is a good thing, it sends a message of acceptance. We cannot do that to our young people. South Dakota already ranks 7th in the nation for suicide deaths. That’s a terrible problem. As a caring public, we need to reject a ballot measure to legalize assisted suicide.

    There are other ways, better, more compassionate ways to deal with end-of-life issues than suicide.

    1. Miranda Gohn

      There is Hospice for those terminally ill and we already have enough problems with financial predators out there taking advantage of those who are elderly, mentally and physically ill. We don’t need another method they can use in South Dakota.

      1. Tara Volesky

        There was no hospice for my Dad in Mobridge. They have cut many hospices in smaller towns.

    2. Jaa Dee

      Why is it any of your business if a patient, and his family agrees the patient should not be FORCED to go through a lingering pain
      ful wait for death—- You tell me why that is any of your business,,,,It is NOT.– But it gets you attention, right?

  4. anon

    Jaa, it’s everybody’s business if society sanctions government regulated suicide. If this becomes law and people begin to kill themselves, we are all complicit.

    People can kill themselves at any time and for any reason. They don’t need the government to legalize, oversee and regulate suicide, and we don’t need our doctors who take an oath to “do no harm” to become peddlers of death.

  5. Tara Volesky

    If one doesn’t wants to have a lingering death there are many ways to do it without getting government involved. Very easy. Example terminal cancer, don’t take chemo. Happens everyday. Is that killing Grandma??? What if Grandma doesn’t want to take Chemo?/ Let Grandma make her own decisions Fred. Not your problem. I think this is another way to divert people’s attention from the corruption in Pierre.

  6. Fred Deutsch

    Tara, by definition, its not assisted suicide for grandma to refuse cancer treatment, nor is it assisted suicide to take grandma off the ventilation machine (i.e. Pulling the plug). Assisted suicide is giving grandma a lethal dose of drugs with the intention of purposely causing her death. It is also not assisted suicide to titrate the dosage of pain medication with the knowledge that effective pain control may also result in death. The difference is intent.

  7. Tara Volesky

    Fred what if Grandma decides to refuse medicine to keep her alive. Would the caregiver be assisting her in suicide.

  8. Tara Volesky

    Where do Physicians stand on this issue. That will play a major part in how people vote.

  9. Fred Deutsch

    Thank you for the question, Tara. The official policy position of the American Medical Association is:

    Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient’s death by providing the necessary means and/or information to enable the patient to perform the life-ending act (e.g., the physician provides sleeping pills and information about the lethal dose, while aware that the patient may commit suicide).

    It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duress—such as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illness—may come to decide that death is preferable to life. However, permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good.

    Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life.

    Physicians: (a) Should not abandon a patient once it is determined that cure is impossible. (b) Must respect patient autonomy. (c) Must provide good communication and emotional support. (d) Must provide appropriate comfort care and adequate pain control.

  10. MC

    This is an Issue I am very torn on.

    We are not talking about a Do Not Resuscitate order, this is about taking a drug to end a human life.

    I have seen families destroyed, financially, emotionally and challenged spiritually, trying to keep a loved one alive. Their bodies continue to be ravaged by disease and modern medicine isn’t up to the task to make them any better, and they are facing a long painful death. I can see why someone would want to spare their families of long ordeal.

    I can also understand families wanting to keep someone alive as long as possible, as there are advances in medicine almost every day. Miracles do happen. The pain we feel with the loss of a family member is horrific. We can learn from it, and become better people. I think back to the book of JOB. That should say it all.

    I can also see insurance companies stating they will not pay for treatment; however, they will pay for black pill.

    1. Fred Deutsch

      MC, feel free to call me for a personal discussion if you would like to discuss this IM proposal.

      In 2017, proponents introduced PAS in 23 states, including very blue states such as HI. It did not pass a single state. Why? Even people that philosophically support PAS do not support the language of this measure. It is written so broadly there is great potential for abuse. Happy to walk you through it if you would like: 605-868-9010/

  11. Anne Beal

    “Assisted suicide” is really just a way for human beings to be “put to sleep.”
    It’s not about withdrawing life support, it’s about family members deciding it’s time to take granny to the vet. Maybe give her a treat up there on the table, then give her the drugs. The patients won’t have much more to say about this than an old dog or cat.