Assisted Suicide Initiated Measure May Face South Dakota Voters In 2018
Senate Concurrent resolution 11 was up before the house Monday afternoon. Representative Leslie Heinemann, who is a Dentist, says the measure opposes physician assisted suicide. He presented the bill for two reasons.
Heinemann says the resolution will appear as an initiated measure on the South Dakota ballot in 2018 and that currently five states that have passed a similar resolution.
He says the Attorney General’s opinion states that the law would apply to adults 18 and older who are terminally ill and of sound mind. Two doctors must also agree and so also would a state psychiatrist or psychologist. This would all have to take place within a 6 month timeframe the person’s death.
Heinemann says the 14th amendment of the US Constitution states we must protect competent as well as non-competent people. He claimed in his remarks Monday that the Netherlands, where legal euthanasia has been legal for some time, has come to a point where more than 50 percent of, quoting Heinemann, “killings now are non-voluntary”.
He says it’s not about choice in the Netherlands or sound mind or about comfort care, but rather about costs.
The initiated measure that will be before South Dakota Voters in 2018 states the physician cannot give the drug, the individual does not have to contact their family, and no state reports can list the act as a suicide or assisted suicide. He had this warning for legislators.
The measure passed out of the house on a 67 to 1 vote in support of the resolution.