Legalized suicide act in process for potential ballot measure for 2018

Apparently, Obamacare’s death panels have been forestalled. So, the South Dakotans out there who would like to clear up the excess elderly and infirm in the state are planning to bring a ballot measure in 2018 to legalize physician assisted suicide in South Dakota.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, a legalized suicide act submitted by Angela Albonico of Spearfish has gone through LRC comments, and is currently awaiting review by the Attorney General prior to being submitted to the Secretary of State for petition circulation:

LRCComments_DeathWithDignityAct by Pat Powers on Scribd

What do you think? Are we ready to fight it out on the ballot to kill legalized suicide in South Dakota?

68 Replies to “Legalized suicide act in process for potential ballot measure for 2018”

    1. Tara Volesky

      Whatever Steve…….do you want your kids to keep you alive forever? It’s a family decision that should be made between the Dr. and family. We kind of have that right now thank God….it’s called a living will. So Steve are you against the Indian way of dying?

  1. Tara Volesky

    Legalized suicide is nothing more than taking the drugs artificial machines away that are keeping one alive. We need to go back to natural death. I don’t believe in keeping people alive for are own selfish reasons. What’s the purpose in letting some 85 year old suffer because we just don’t want to let them go. When my parents were suffering their final in their final weeks, instead of praying for them to live, I prayed for God to take them. I was relieved and at peace when I knew they were free at last.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      Actually Tara, if you read the act, it allows the prescription of suicide pills. That’s a bit of a more drastic step than removing machines that artificially prolong life.

      It’s a suicide act.

      1. Tara Volesky

        Well most people are taking so many medications just to be kept alive. When my father got his car license taken away he quit eating and taking his meds. He just wanted to die. I talked him into eating and taking his meds, and one of our sons took off a year of college to take care of him. He did very well for a few months but in the end the family, Dr. and I decided what was best for my Dad. I really don’t think you need to make a law and interfere with what is in the best interest of an individual. Each case is different. I have seen way to many people suffer or who are kept alive in a vegetation state. Let them die naturally. Pat I few years ago my Dad wasn’t expected to make it and I told the hospice nurse to load him up with morphine so he didn’t have to suffer. He woke up the next morning in hospice and it wasn’t his time. He lived another 6 years. If he would have died, would I be charged with murder?

      2. Anon

        At least it wouldn’t be done under the auspices of “pain management” that kills terminal patients anyway. It’s already happening, Pat. Let’s bring it out of the shadows.

  2. Fred Deutsch

    The measure mandates that physicians prescribe medication to end a person’s life. The physician has no option. He or she has no conscientious or religious exemptions. It also invalidates any pre-existing living wills. It’s a terrible measure.

    1. Tara Volesky

      OK Fred, Best way to end one’s life is quit taking the drugs that are keeping you alive. The SHAME thing isn’t going to work. What do you think morphine does to someone who is dying. Doctor’s know more than Lawmakers. Let them and the family decide. Shouldn’t even be an issue.

      1. Fred Deutsch

        Tara, to talk intelligently about an issue you need to educate yourself. Read the measure. It “forces” both physicians and pharmacists to provide LETHAL DOSES of drugs. Take the drugs Tara and you die.

        Just like the effect of the drugs states use to carry out the death penalty, they are designed to kill you.

        This is the opposite of letting a person “die naturally.” It is an act to legalize suicide; in essence, it allows a person to die unnaturally.

        1. Tara Volesky

          Ok Mr. Theatrical Drama King….you know what’s best for families…You tell me to get educated. I am educated from Brigham Young University in the field of Gerontology……..Maybe you should get educated into staying out of people’s lives. I m not saying to lethally kill them…but there are ways to die dignified without being put through the shame of stupid laws that make the family feel like murderers. Fred, you come across as very sanctimonious, but I am sure you are a wonderful guy.

          1. Fred Deutsch

            Tara, I said you need to be educated about the issue. The issue is document on the blog. You need to read it.

            1. Tara Volesky

              I did. Ok I am not for anything to be forced upon anyone. If Drs. and pharmacists don’t feel comfortable giving legal doses of drugs to kill people, I respect that and don’t think they should be forced to do something against there religious our moral code.

          2. Anne Beal

            Tara you don’t know much about geriatric pharmacology. I lost count of the number of times people who were unresponsive had all their medications stopped and not only did they come around, they got up and resumed walking and talking. as a group the elderly are over-medicated with drugs that cause delirium and somnolence. When the drugs are withdrawn they come back to life.

    1. Tara Volesky

      Fred I do not believe there should be a law that the Dr. and pharmacists should be forced to provide drugs that kill…..but I believe in making the patient very comfortable to the end.

  3. Kelly Lieberg

    With suicide codified, insurance companies will be tempted to deny expensive extenders. Spread sheet care.

    1. Kelly Lieberg

      An accounting tool of the bean counters. Impersonalized. Suicide would be legally sanctioned and therefore a lower cost alternative. I’ve read arguments of these senarios in CA.

  4. Melissa Magstadt

    This needs to go through the scrutiny of the legislative process. And the small percentage of people who support this, know it would not survive the legislative process so they package it up in a way that unsuspecting voters think they are helping people to die with dignity. And the unsuspecting voter won’t even look at the impact on the families, patients, healthcare providers, insurance companies, healthcare systems….etc. Typical referendum “wolf in sheep’s clothing” approach to getting a small groups agenda through, without the scrutiny of the legislative process.

  5. Spencer

    Section 4: “the attending physician shall deliver the written prescription personally, by mail or facsimile to the pharmacist, who will dispense the medications directly to either the patient, the attending physician, or an expressly identified agent of the patient…. The attending physician may sign the patient’s death certificate which shall list the underlying terminal disease as the cause of death.”

    This proposed measure ropes your doctor, pharmacist, and your family/friends into a group suicide/homicide. I’m not sure that a poison pill that admittedly from this same measure may take more than three hours to do its job and may not work really needs to be used in the first place. We have enough people forced into your group suicide/homicide for a respectable firing squad. That last sentence really hammers home what this measure is all about…lies. You died from a suicide, a suicide in which you force your doctor, pharmacist, and loved ones to be a part of. This cowardly act is a step above the classic murder/suicide. Also, Section 19 and 23 directly conflict with each other. This is a disgusting measure in every conceivable way. It needs to be fought tooth and nail.

  6. Tara Volesky

    Let go, let God. This is getting a little carried away. This is a personal and private issue among family and health care providers……..So why should the government be involved.

  7. Spencer

    So, let me get this straight. Angie Albonico could not get pot for her son (and/or for herself) in South Dakota; so, now she wants to pass a measure that would allow her to euthanize her son in 8 years? Go back and read through or listen to her testimony. She is not just talking about pot. She could use the exact same testimony to support euthanasia. She just wants and easy out to her situation.

    “Albonico said the worry of her son throwing up in his sleep and choking is enough to keep her awake and stressed throughout most nights. ‘Imagine if this was your story,’ she said as she wrapped up her testimony. ‘Imagine if this was your child. Imagine if this was your daily struggle.'”

    Under the measure that Angie supports, in 8 years she would be able to participate in euthanizing her son under the “expressly identified agent of the patient” clause. Now we know how this sad story will end. She just needs your volunteer hours and votes to make it happen.

    1. Angie Albonico

      Hello Spencer,
      Your comment is 100% unnecessary and completely untrue. #1. You don’t know me, or my family, or clearly this initiative. My son doesn’t have a “terminal illness” therefore I have NO intention on using it on my son. I will be fighting for him to have access to cannabis to treat his condition, however, again, this is NOT a terminal illness so it’s null and void to this conversation. Maybe you should consider learning the truth instead of bashing people that you have no idea about, which is super sad. But ya know, some of us have nothing better to do.

      If you don’t support it, then don’t sign. No hard feelings. This will be my last comment. Love to you all.

      p.s. I think I read somewhere in one of the comments about it having grammatical errors. Well, in case you don’t know how ballot initiatives work. I took the bill from Washington State, edited it slightly, then turn it into the Legislative Research Council, they have me edit it with the wording THEY want, I change it to match THEIR grammar and then it gets submitted to the AG. So, if you want to bash on something as unimportant as grammar, you should talk with them about that.

  8. Anonymous

    Another Solid NO.

    The only thing that needs to be killed is this Initiated Measure.

    First step–Don’t sign to let it on the ballot

  9. duggersd

    I always look at measures that have doctors actively participation in the killing of patients very nervously. On the one hand, after watching both of my parents die painful deaths, I can understand a desire to help people end suffering. But to force a physician or pharmacist to actively participate in the killing of a patient is morally unacceptable.

  10. Charlie Hoffman

    It’s one thing to prescribe enough Morphine for ending pain keeping a patient comfortable which could possibly slow the heart enough to stop which is the opposite of prescribing pharmaceutical cocktails guaranteed to stop the heart, break the Hippocratic Oath and certainly kill the patient.
    Just be fair and call this proposed IM the after birth abortion!

  11. Troy Jones

    I think when this initiative gets vetted (combined with IM22 this year) it will put the people on notice that Initiated Measures aren’t what they purport to be and oppose them more diligently. I like Charlie’s reference to this being the beginning of “post-birth abortion.”

  12. Springer

    Please, legislators, make it much harder for any initiated measure to get on the ballot in the first place. And somehow make the official explanation from the AG’s office more comprehensive and truthful when giving the short version of the bill. We should not have to put up with these bad, out-of-state sponsored IM’s year after year. First, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT!

  13. Anonymous

    Knowing how desperate the all knowing SDDP are they will probably promote this as one of their magic bullets to winning seats in 2018.

  14. Mel

    Ironically all of you who have said this initiative is poorly written obviously have 0 clue on Dignity laws nationwide. This is an exact adoption of Washington States bill. A bill that voters approved.

    Many of you also did not read the bill. It is for terminally ill patients with 6months or less to live. It is a requirement that the person who requests these medications is of sound mind and making the choice of their own free will. NOBODY else can fill out the paperwork, meet with the physician OR administer the dose.

    This is an alternative to prevent suffering and it is personal choice between that individual, their Physician & their God.

    It would be nice to see the state of SD and many of the residents mind their own business. Get out of everyone else’s lives, homes, bedrooms & physician appointments. If this bill isn’t for you then don’t sign the petition. Vote no when it reaches the ballot. However at the end of your life or the end of a loved ones life wouldn’t it be better to have an option? To die with dignity at home on your own time?

    I lost my father in law Oct 21st to Sanford Hospitals “Comfort Cares” do any of you know what the term “Comfort Care” means? It means a man who just had a brain tumor removed 4 weeks prior & got pneumonia and was sick for 3 DAYS…3 DAYS was removed from antibiotics, fluids and support cares then moved to the 6th floor where they did NOTHING but start a Morphine drip and up the dose until he died. So essentially Sanford Hospital is already euthanizing patients under the umbrella of comfort cares. The difference in having this initiative pass is the family & patient don’t have to pay 30,000 plus for the service & you don’t die in a hospital.

    Many of you need to start using your hearts when you make statements. You also need to go back and read your Bible. Free will is a gift God granted us all. The ability to make our own judgement calls with out interference. We answer to God when we pass on & reach the gates. Until then not one person on this earth has the right to tell another person how to end their life. The choice is between them & God. Stop judging.

    Spencer you are scum to think Angie would ever even consider this for Micah. Just sick! People like you are what’s wrong with the world today.

    1. Fred Deutsch

      Mel, even though you and I have differing opinions, I am grateful you have enough chutzpah to share your beliefs.

      If there is one thing we know with absolute certainty about life is that it will come to an end. Like you, I watched a man I dearly loved pass away in hospice care. In my case, it was my father, a strong, tough Holocaust survivor who survived the horrors of Auschwitz, but not the horrors of cancer. To him, life was precious. He fought for every breath. To him, and to me, suicide runs counter to the very fabric and notion of life.

      I live in South Dakota for many, many reasons. One of those reasons is our respect for the value for human life. There is nothing about suicide that is dignified.

      The fact that Washington State passed a law to legalize suicide is reflective of their values. Their values are not South Dakota values. That, frankly, is part of the beauty of living in the United States. Each state is its own “laboratory of democracy,” allowing its citizens to “choose novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

      If the measure appears on our ballot, I will fight it, fight it, and fight it because I believe it is atrocious and immoral. But I am just one voice. My intention will be to share my voice with as many people that will listen and pray it does not pass.

    2. Angie Albonico

      Mel, thank you so much!! You are correct I would not consider this with Micah! And for the record, he doesn’t have a terminal illness so this guy Spencer doesn’t know what he is talking about. Thank you, love to all.

  15. Troy Jones

    Mel,

    Your monologue on “free will,” getting the government out of people’s lives, and “make our own judgment calls without interference” would have more credibility if the law allowed Drs. and Pharmacists the right to decline to participate in the killing of such a person.

    Your statement “This is an alternative to prevent suffering and it is personal choice between that individual, their Physician & their God” is a lie because of the forced participation of the Physician.

    1. Charlie Hoffman

      When one gets a compliment from Jones it is a very good day indeed to be a South Dakotan with a head on common sense. 🙂
      Fred I’ll be there in the trenches with you fighting this evil end of life murder plan.

  16. Mel

    Troy I suggest you actually read the initiative. There is no forced participation for Physicians. No Physician had to prescribe these medications if it violates their ethics or religious beliefs. Before you start spouting off you may to sit quietly and read the whole thing.

    1. Spencer

      No, Mel, what I think is SICK is that someone who claims to be an advocate for the disabled, special education, and potential terminal illnesses like leukemia, such as Angie claims to be, is actually working feverishly to make sure many of these same people are blotted out from existence. What I think is SICK is that Angie obviously used her son’s illness as inspiration to legalize pot and now assisted suicide. Try explaining that one to him when he gets a little older. Angie is a living definition of a hypocrite and is stabbing organizations that defend and uplift the sick and disabled in the back with this measure of prescribed death for many of their members. Exactly, at what point during her pro-pot push for her son did she have that epiphany in which she realized that euthanizing people is a lot easier than medicating and taking care of them? I would love to hear her rationale in how she evolved on that position. What are we to think exactly in all of this? She supported medical pot to deal with her son’s incurable illness. She now supports euthanizing people with incurable illnesses. Which people? Are we to really believe that these are two separate ideas and not a continuous line of thought? At what point did she decide that she was going to abandon pot for her son’s suffering in favor of chemical suicide/homicide…for whom? Clearly, one inspired the other, and, unfortunately, her son is central to that. My guess is that even Angie knows how bad this measure truly is and would never use it on her own children even though it authorizes her to do so through a little coaching of the patient and searching for just the right doctor. But, as Mel indicated, this measure is for everyone else in South Dakota foolish enough to engage in a group suicide/homicide, not for Angie and her family. She wants to be above all the horrors that this measure is about to unleash on our state. All one has to do is to go to a doctor willing to sign off on it…second, third, fourth opinion, if needed…. There is no enforceable oversight associated with this measure. None. I wonder if Mel has read this measure line by line like I have. If so, I doubt she would be so cavalier in her comments on here. I hope Washington’s version does not have endless grammatical, format, and drafting errors in their version like this one does, not to speak of the endless legal and ethical problems with this measure. It is more of a concept bill at this stage than anything, a poor concept to say the least, one with a very troubling origin.

        1. Angie

          Hello “Anonymous”
          I am part of New Approach, pushing for safe access for all South Dakotans, even your family God forbid they ever need it.

          These are two totally different issues.

        2. Marshal

          Wow anonymous you really need to educate yourself on benefits of medical canibus. Research and get away from the reefer madness syndrome.

      1. Tara Volesky

        Well then you better get rid of the other kill bill The Living Will……Watch people rise up and fight you on that one if you try to take it away. That’s the real kill bill……..Look at how many people could still be living on a machine. Terry Sheiboe could still be alive today. We could build a brain dead facility instead of saving other people that are on the list for transplants. I see no difference in Dying in dignity or the Living will. I also believe anybody who believes in pro life, with the exception of rape and incest is not pro life.

      2. Anonymous

        Spencer, The day you die and rot in hell will the best day of everyone’s lives!! You arrogant, irrational, heartless shit hole. I will be praising your death when you die at your funeral unless I’m in prison because of your death first, but even then when I have life in prison it will be worth every year knowing your life is no longer capable of making anyone else’s life miserable you sadastic asshole!!!

      3. Marshal

        Spencer, consensual assisted passing to the next realm. CONSENSUAL being the key word. We really own nothing in this world but our life and being should be one of those freely to with what we choose in the absence of hurting anyone else. Have you never euthanized a beloved pet knowing it was in pain and no hope of cure? If the pet could speak do you not believe this is what it would want? Why can’t humans have the same choice?

    2. Charlie Hoffman

      I read the entire IM. It says “shall” not “may” in describing physicians attributed care.

  17. Tara Volesky

    I want to thank PP and everybody on here for being very respectful unlike that other blog that blocks people and bullies you if you don’t agree with their agenda. Maybe that exclusive site is a reason why the Democrat party is dead. Now watch, Pat is eventually going to block me.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      Tara, contrary to popular thought, I use that rarely & only on people who are abusive, habitually off topic or otherwise can’t follow the rules.

  18. Anonymous

    Reading through these comments it is obvious that the opponents are throwing around the word suicide very liberally. This is not for a healthy 20-year-old who doesn’t feel there’s another option. Suicide is not something to be taken lightly. This bill is for the individual of sound mind and body, when faced with a terminal illness to be able to end their suffering. Is it truly your wish that your friend, family member or even yourself die of a horrible disease such as ALS where are you have a fully functioning mind as you slowly lose every function of your body that when considered classifies you as a human being from just an animal and give them/yourself no other options? There’s a huge difference between that and loosely labeling this suicide. Legally prescribed pharmaceuticals are already one of the leading causes of death in this country. If you want to be upset about drugs causing death, that would be a good place to start.