Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vigil for people with disabilities murdered by family members, March 31, 7 PM Boston Common

We want to share this important notice with you.  Anne


MAADPS Board member, John Kelly, has shared this important announcement.  Please try to attend.

Dear Friends and Colleagues ,

On Saturday, March 31, at 7:00 p.m., on the Boston Common at Park and Beacon Streets there will be a vigil in memory of people with disabilities murdered by family members. On March 6, George Hodgins, a 22-year old Autistic man, was murdered by his mother, who then killed herself. As almost always happens when family members kill people with disabilities--whether or not they kill themselves afterwards--the media sympathizes with the murderers and negates the lives of the people they killed. 

People with disabilities across the nation are grieving George's death and the deaths of thousands of others with disabilities. Please consider joining the Boston-area disability community for Saturday night's vigil.

I have included two powerful pieces written on George's death. The first is by Zoe Gross, a member of the Autism Self-Advocacy Network, (ASAN) which organized the first vigil in George's memory, on March 16, 2012 in Sunnyvale, CA where George lived. The second piece is a blog post by "squiditty," who has documented the stories of nearly 460 people with disabilities who have been murdered since 1941, from newborns to a woman who was 88.

Thanks for considering all this,

John Kelly, Director

Second Thoughts: People with Disabilities Opposing the Legalization of Assisted Suicide


Last Tuesday, George Hodgins was shot and killed by his mother, who then killed herself. George lived here in Sunnyvale and he was 22 years old. I didn't know George, but I can't stop thinking about him. Maybe it's because we have a lot in common — we lived near each other, we were the same age, we're both autistic, although we led very different lives. I would like to have met George, but I can only mourn him. And I can try to make sure that his story isn't forgotten.

In the wake of this tragedy, I read a lot of articles that asked the readers to imagine how George's mother must have felt. But I didn't see a single article that asked the reader to empathize for George, to imagine how it feels to see your mother point a gun at you. I've seen a lot of people talking about how hard it must be to live with an autistic relative, but I didn't see anyone talking about how terrible it be to die knowing that your parent, who you love and depend on, has decided to hurt and kill you.

Because he was autistic, George is being erased from the story of his own murder.

The story of George Hodgins's death is being discussed and presented as a story of a mother who snapped, and the story of other parents who have felt the same way. It's being told as a story about a lack of services for families with special-needs children, as though a lack of services is a justification for murder.

When disabled people are murdered by their families, this is the story people want to hear. It's the same story that we saw in newspapers after Katie McCarron was murdered, and after Jeremy Fraser  was murdered, and after Glenn Freaney was murdered, and after Zain and Faryaal Akhter were murdered. The story goes like this: it is understandable that someone would kill their disabled relative if they don't get help to care for them.

I don't think this is a true story.

Why is the story being told this way? Because we live in a world that doesn't acknowledge the value of our lives as disabled people. Because so many people in our society can't imagine a disabled person living a fulfilling life, so they don't see the tragedy and the wasted potential when one of our lives is cut short.

As disabled people, we have to take a stand against this kind of thinking. We have to get the word out that our lives matter, that our lives are our own stories and not just the stories of our non-disabled parents and relatives and caretakers. We have to let people know that they are missing part of the story.

Because the story of George Hodgins's murder is also the story of the disabled community losing one of our own. It's the story of the other disabled people who were murdered by their family members, and it's the story of the society that thinks so little of people with disabilities that these murders are all too often justified as "understandable." Most of all, it's George's story — the story of a young man who enjoyed hiking, who was always looking to learn new skills, who had his whole life in front of him.

Now George is gone, and only his memory remains, and already that memory is being distorted by people who want to tell his story and leave him out. That's not going to happen tonight. We're here to remember the real story.

Source: Zoe Gross, ASAN, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network


In memoriam
I've been trying to write this post for almost a week now, trying to get it right, trying to make it good enough to be the tribute I want it to be.  It's still not good enough in my eyes, but ultimately I'd rather be imperfect now than silent. 

This is George Hodgins.  This is a guy who liked to go for long walks, whether it was hiking out in nature or browsing around a shopping mall.  One of his favorite places to stop was the Disney store.   He didn't speak, but he could communicate with an AAC device and he frequently took headphones with him so he could listen to music and calm himself down when he was anxious or overloaded.  The staffers at the program which he'd left just a year ago describe him as 'a good kid' and 'delightful'.  He was 22 years old when his mother shot him in a murder-suicide earlier this month. 

This is George Hodgins and this is the only photo I could find of him anywhere, and it came not from anywhere in the mainstream media but from the blog of the mother of one of those staffers.  This is George Hodgins and the media has been portraying this as his mother's tragedy rather than his own.  This is George Hodgins and the Autism Society of America didn't even bother giving his name when they used his death to argue for services.

  This is the memorial cairn in my backyard.  For approximately the past five years, I've been trying to honor the deaths- no, honor the lives of people with disabilities who have been murdered.  Each stone, with one exception, represents a person.  Most of them are from the United States, Canada, or the UK, due to my reliance on English-language media coverage.    The dates of their deaths range from as recently as this month to as far back as 1941. The eldest was an old woman of 88 years; the youngest died within hours of their birth.   For each of them, on the first anniversary of their death (or first since I became aware of them), I spend time reflecting on what I know about them, imagining what they were like alive and happy.  When it's physically and financially possible, I try to engage in one or more of their likes and interests, as a kind of send-off.  Finally, sometime during that day I place their stone on the cairn.  Once a year, on the night of November 1st, I hold my own one-person candlelight vigil by the cairn, remember the faces and read off the names of all those whose stones I've added since the previous November.  It's trickled off a bit recently (if only because several of my news sources shut down or stopped updating), but it still amounts to nearly 460 stones- and I know that's an underestimate.  The last and largest stone, a triangular chunk of black asphalt riddled with many, many, smaller stones is my memorial to those whose names I don't know and may never know, modern and historical. I lay flowers sometimes, but the ones in the picture just kind of happened on their own. They've been blooming there every spring at about this time of year, ever since I started.

Sometimes I have photos and life stories with paragraphs and paragraphs about who they were, what they did, what kinds of things they loved.  Sometimes all I have is a name, a cause of death, and maybe an indictment that I can't always find follow-up for.   I've been keeping the photos and placing the stones since the beginning- keeping the stories is something which started later, in response to media articles using their names to invoke fear, to erase who they were and how and why they died in order to better fit the tragic-parents narrative that they were trying to build.  My biggest regret in doing this is that I didn't start holding on to their lives' stories sooner.

It wouldn't be accurate to say that doing this has gotten easier over time- it hasn't- but it's tended to become differently hard.  Less shocking, I guess, and more heavy-hearted.   Processing George's death, though…  that was different, somehow, harsh and raw like when I'd first started despite being similar in most respects to most of what I see.  Maybe it was the fact that Peter Singer and Robert Latimer decided to crawl out from under their rocks while I was in the middle of trying to get a gestalt of the event.  Maybe my feelings surrounding their loathsome opinions about our lives and our worth spilled over.

Or maybe it was the vigil. Probably it was the vigil. I didn't go, couldn't go- I'm on the wrong side of the country, and even if I weren't transportation would have been an issue- but I was out in the backyard at the cairn that night, there in spirit.  Never since Katie McCarron, who was one of my main reasons for starting this, have I seen such a collective reaction.  Individual posts here and there, certainly, but never since then have I witnessed this kind of simultaneous upwelling of sorrow and defiance and community drawing together to remember one of our own.

I won't be able to be at the other vigil next Friday, either, but I want those of you who are going to know that I'll be with you in spirit- and if there's anything I can do from here, let me know.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Right here in MA!

The utterly amazing ruling that the federal government could not help fund any of the Catholic church's anti-trafficking efforts came down right here in Massachusetts. This is an excellent article from National Review whose reasoning will resonate with you, I think. Anne

 NRO's home for judicial news and analysis.


A Very Bad Religious-Freedom Opinion in Massachusetts 

By Richard Garnett

March 27, 2012 10:44 A.M. 

Even during a week when the attention of the Whole World is fixed on a certain Big Case in the Supreme Court of the United States, it would be a mistake to overlook a ruling - handed down late last Friday night by a federal trial-court judge in Massachusetts - that surely ranks among the worst manglings of the First Amendment ever to emanate from a judge's chambers. The case is ACLU v. Sebelius, and the opinion is available here.

In a nutshell, Judge Richard Stearns ruled that it would violate the Establishment Clause for the federal government to cooperate with the nation's Catholic bishops in the fight against human trafficking, because the bishops require that those with whom they sub-contract in this effort not to use any of the federal monies to pay for counseling or referrals for abortion and contraception. So, here's the argument: Because the bishops' requirement reflects their "religious" opposition to abortion and contraception, it amounts to an "establishment" of religion - and an unconstitutional delegation of secular authority to religious institutions - for the government to fund their anti-trafficking efforts. According to Judge Stearns, the policy of the bishops becomes, by virtue of their (generous, humane, and useful) cooperation with the government, the policy of the government, and the Constitution does not permit the government to have such a policy of imposing "religious" requirements as conditions of receiving government aid.

This is the wooliest of wooly-headed reasoning. For starters, it would not violate the Establishment Clause for the government to decide its human-trafficking funds should not be used, by anyone, to pay for abortion- and contraception-related counseling. To understate the matter, the government is not required to subsidize or support abortions, and opposition to abortion is no more suspect because many religious believers oppose it than opposition to human trafficking is suspect because many religious believers oppose it.

Next, it is not the case that the religion-inspired policies and practices of institutions that receive public funds somehow become, for constitutional purposes, the government's own policies. If Judge Stearns were right (and he certainly is not), then it is unconstitutional for a Catholic school that receives some special-education-related or school-lunch funding for low-income students to have morning chapel or First Communion classes. If Judge Stearns were right (and, again, he isn't), the federal government would be required to forbid any religious institutions that participate in "charitable choice" and "faith-based initiative" programs from taking religious-mission into account when hiring.

People at places like Mother Jones are, no surprise, crowing. For some, any loss for the bishops is a win, which explains the headline, "Catholic Bishops Lose a Big Battle Over Contraception." Actually, the loss here is by those victims of human trafficking whom the bishops and other religious institutions help, but - it appears - symbolic thumpings of Catholic prelates count for more than alleviating the very non-symbolic suffering of real, vulnerable people.

In recent days, many bien-pensant commentators have embraced the unattractive tactic of asserting that the challenges to the health-insurance mandate are, of course, frivolous, and that the only explanation for a Court decision striking it down would be low politics. These commentators know better, but are merely and transparently trying to condition the environment to receive their outraged denunciations of a ruling - if one comes - limiting the Affordable Care Act. The loopy ruling in ACLU v. Sebelius, however, shows us what inexplicably erroneous rulings and frivolous arguments actually look like, and they are not pretty.

- Richard Garnett is professor of law and associate dean at Notre Dame Law School.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Supreme Court and MA General Court

As you know, today the U S Supreme Court will begin hearing testimony about the challenge to the individual mandate in Obamacare. I don't have to tell you the importance of this case! The three articles below give excellent background and analysis of the situation. It is especially nice to see the one by Paige Cunningham who spoke here on the 30th anniversary of Roe v Wade.


Testimony on the Doctor Prescribed Suicide bill at the State House was amazing. Many of you were there and gave excellent testimony. The next job is for each of us to speak to our individual state senators and representatives. If they don't hear from us, they will think they can vote for DPS with impunity. has contact information.


When you talk to your legislators, please give them your reasons for opposing the bill and ask for commitments from them. Do not mention abortion or religious arguments. The thing that seems most effective is to point out that we can care for people, even those in severe pain and it is poor public policy to define suicide as a medical choice. At the hearings a number of people quoted Wayne Cockfield, who told us in January that "compassion" means "suffer with". He called the "compassion" in DPS, "medical abandonment". For more information, check


As soon as you have a commitment from your legislators (either way), please let Eva know right away, or by pressing "reply".  


Some people have already approached their legislators and the meetings have gone very well. Now it is your turn! Thank you, Anne

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rally for Religious Liberty on the Common Today!

 Last night we received the final arrangements about today's Stand Up For Religious Liberty Rally.  We've copied it below. We will have a speaker at the event.  A big thank you to the organizers who pulled this together on very short notice!


Good Evening,


The Rally is scheduled to start at 12:00 Friday March 23.  The rally will be located at Boston Common; the section of the Common that we have been designated is on the corner of Park St. and Beacon St. this sector of the Boston Common is directly across from the Massachusetts State House.  The MBTA has a Green Line Station located in the Boston Common at the corners of Park St. and Tremont St. for your transportation needs.

I am in the process of preparing a program with the names of the speakers and the music/hymns for the rally.
  • Fr Jeremy Paulin OMV; Director of Vocations
  • Edwin J. Shanahan, Executive Director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
  • Scot Landry, WQOM (1060 AM)
  • C.J. Doyle, Executive Director Catholic Action League of Massachusetts
  • Clarivel Marin de Dragas, Mother, Wife and American Citizen; Clarivel has a most compelling story to share!
  • Special Guest to be named at event!
We will have a guitarist "Michael McDuffee" thanks to Debbie, Debbie is assuming the cost for Mr. McDuffee.  Debbie has also prepared the hymn list.

We have a sound system and other ancillary effects Thanks to Katie our Co-Captain; Katie is covering these cost.   

I have ordered 150 signs that I will cover the cost for and pick-up tomorrow morning. 

You may also bring any homemade signs that you have prepared.  Homemade signs are great for backdrops and originality.  However, please review the guidelines for signs and conduct at

Thank you for your faith, patience and enthusiasm.

Please Spread the Word!

We only began this process yesterday morning at 10:00 a.m. when we heard that the rally had been cancelled. Therefore, we appreciate all of your prayers, indulgence, effort and assistance as we move forward.

God Bless!
Katie, Debbie and Jim

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stand Up for Religious Liberty Rally in Boston


We had read about the Stand Up for Religious Liberty Rally. Before we had a chance to find out more so that we could publicize it, we saw on the website that the Boston event had been cancelled.


Today we received the exciting news that the Boston Rally is back on and will be held on the Boston Common.


The website states: "The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom is being held Friday, March 23 at noon, local time, outside federal buildings, Congressional offices and historic sites across the country. The theme for the Rally is 'Stand Up for Religious Freedom-Stop the HHS Mandate!'


"Thousands of Americans of all faiths will be participating in these peaceful rallies to oppose the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires all employers provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, even in violation of their consciences."


Please check the web site for the latest news. I'll send you more information as we get it. Should be delightful weather to send this important message! Anne



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vermont DPS - slow death for this session?

 News just in from the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare:

"Following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing held this past week, the Committee Chair, Senator Dick Sears had intended to hold an up or down vote today on whether or not S. 103 (the bill that would legalize doctor-prescribed suicide) would pass out of committee and eventually head for a floor vote.

Sen. Sears announced to the full Senate this afternoon that S 103 will not be coming out of his committee this session.  The only way it could move is to attach it to another bill which is possible, but difficult."


I think the Vermont legislature will not be in session in time to bring this up before Massachusetts votes on Nov 6th.  This is a huge victory for the Alliance in Vermont and a huge obstacle we have dodged.  A great start for the weekend!  Anne

October Baby

 I attended a showing of October Baby the night before the March for Life.  Everyone liked the movie.  The young people - especially some darling girls from Texas loved it.  As the review points out, it would be too emotional for most pre-teens.  I think everyone else will be glad to have gone.  The closest theater for Opening Night, March 23rd, is:

Cinemagic Merrimack 12
11 Excutive Park Drive
Merrimack, NH 03054

Definitely worth the drive.  I know you'll enjoy it!  Anne

Film review: October Baby

posted at 8:40 am on March 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When one hears about a film like October Baby, which deals with the aftermath of a failed abortion and the impact it has on the lives of those affected, certain conclusions about it will emerge before even entering the theater.  People will expect it to preach a pro-life message rather than tell a story.  The film will manipulate characters so that they are neatly divided between evil and good.  Religion will get shoved down the viewers' throats.  All of the loose ends will get tied up in a neat bow. And all of those conclusions will be ... wrong.

October Baby tells the story of a young college student, Hannah (Rachel Hendrix), who has had numerous health issues in childhood but emerged as a generally healthy young adult when supported with proper medical care - at least until she collapses during a school play.  The subsequent medical tests, and the reading of her private journal by her parents, lead to a clash in which she discovers for the first time that she was adopted, and that she survived an abortion at 24 weeks.  Shocked, angry, and lost, Hannah joins her childhood confidante Jason (Jason Burkey) on a quest to find her true identity and some real meaning to her life.

This could have gone the way of a Lifetime movie, or have earnest but second-tier production treatment.  Neither happens thanks to expert handling by co-directors Andrew and Jon Erwin, both of whom have a few years under their belts making values-themed entertainment.  In fact, both leads appeared in their TV movie/pilot Alumni.  The production values in the film are commensurate with theatrical-release drama, certainly on the same level as other romantic dramas for teens.  The story itself provides surprises rather than opting for more feel-good resolutions of some conflicts. Religion comes into the story, but much less than one would imagine.

October Baby isn't about religion, or even abortion as much as it is about forgiveness and letting go of pain and hurt.  It never crosses over into a strident anti-abortion didactic as one might expect, although the subtext arises once or twice, especially in a heart-rending scene with a surprising performance from Jasmine Guy.  The film tells a story and lets the viewers reach their own conclusions, but it doesn't go out of its way to condemn anyone - and in one scene, even makes reference to violent protests at abortion clinics.  The film has a point of view, to be sure, but it treats everyone fairly, with the possible exception of a minor romantic rivalry that is the film's only real one-dimensional device and obvious cliché.

As for the performances, the cast impresses - especially Guy and John Schneider, who plays Hannah's father and gives the performance of his life.  They are the most recognizable stars in the cast, and both deliver powerful and vulnerable performances.  I was amazed to discover after the film that October Baby is Hendrix's first theatrical film and only her second credit; it won't be her last.  Hannah is the emotional center and core of the film, even when she can't find her own core, and Hendrix captures her beautifully.  However, special mention should be made of Shari Rigby as Hannah's birth mother, who not only delivers a powerful performance, but also gives an emotional interview during the end credits.  Do not miss it, and be sure to bring your handkerchiefs.

October Baby opens a week from today and is rated PG-13, for "mature thematic material," which is certainly true.  There isn't anything in the film to which parents would object, like bad language or nudity, but it's heavy material for kids and pre-teens.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Judge Carey, Dartmouth, on DHHS mandate and other good stuff


This letter by William H. Carey of Dartmouth, a retired justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court who has written and argued extensively on First Amendment issues, appeared in South Coast Today, March 11. 2012. Kudos to Judge Casey.

I have also included links to a video of a Women's Conference held in DC last week, which gives good intellectual underpinnings to the religious freedom arguments against the mandate, a fine article from the Wall Street Journal about the mandate, and an article from American Thinker which makes the point that the passion of pro-lifers like you and me will cause the overturn of O-care. I think you will find them all useful and inspiring. Anne


Your View: A free lunch on contraceptive services

By William H. Carey


The dispute between the U.S. government through the Department of Health and Human Services and various religious associations, including the Catholic Church, is nothing more than a struggle for power.

The government insists that it has the duty to guarantee to woman the availability of contraceptive services freely, on the backs of its employers. The religious organizations claim it is not the function of government and to do so is a violation of freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The dispute is not over the use, popularity, benefits or dangers, if any, associated with contraceptive services. It is about the availability on the lack of employers.


This is not a minor issue. Religious societies are among the largest employers in the United States, and would be the parties charged with the compliance of this law. Their claim is that to make such a demand on them violates not only natural law but also the freedom of religion provisions.

This has been mishandled by DHH from the very beginning.


On Jan. 20, the government, through the Health and Human Services cabinet office, mandated that employers (including religious employers) offer their employees health coverage service, which include "sterilization, abortion drugs and contraception." Catholic employees and others would be forced to incorporate such free services to their employees for contraceptives.


The Catholic Church, employees, religious associations and others revolted upon the mandatory abridgement of their guaranteed freedom of religion without interference by the government.

The isolated language of the act is buried in a 300-page document that would, or could, be read in its entirety by very few people. I don't propose to be one of them.


The language now being questioned sticks out like a sore thumb. It guarantees contraceptive services by employers, including religious employers. Having in mind the vast number of employees working for religious institutions (including hospitals alone), the number of potential recipients would be alarming.

As soon as Feb. 10, less than 30 days after the first surprise, the insurance companies appeared on the scene as rescuers of the so-called "modifications" (now called the contraception mandate) announced by President Obama, with the costs borne by insurance companies, which everyone knows will ultimately be paid for by the premiums of the employers.


This created a new controversy by adding new players - the insurance companies - and created additional problems for them and the First Amendment issue. These new regulations have not been published anywhere familiar to me. Certainly not in the Federal Registry, which is required by law.

This February mandate did not recognize the moral issue.


To make matters even worse, the government tried to amend a "highway bill" to satisfy the objection of religious orders, but the attempt failed.


Their contraceptive mandate is useless to solve the problem and certainly not evidence of good faith by the government, who created the problem in the first place.

The government cannot try to skirt the First Amendment. To guarantee the liberties of the freedom of religion is much more important than politically created mandates during an election year.

We cannot have a rule of law that mandates this type of insurance coverage and a rule of law that mandates freedom of religion.


The more disturbing result is that those staff writers who prepared this "mandate" know this, but tried to sneak it by the American people. It was an intentional ploy to get around the First Amendment. The whole issue, however, is not about the merits or value of the contraceptive service. Couples have that issue to resolve themselves. It is about the government's mandating the availability to all religious employers and making them pay for it.


An accommodation on this issue to the rights of all may be very difficult - but not impossible.

What all involved dearly need is "good faith" of the government, religious societies, insurance companies and all others involved. Nothing however, is insolable if genuine good faith is paramount in the solution. So far, at least, it is lacking.


We remain a Christian nation. The religious societies and the Catholic Church are strong but genuine in supporting the guarantees of the First Amendment and not a politically motivated agency or staff.

Christ has already given us the way to resolve it.


The Bible tells us that the "donarus," or coin, was shown to Jesus to resolve a controversy between parties with the question "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar?" The "donarus" today in this issue is a 300-page document offered by Department of Health and Human Services as the law of our land for the free availability of contraceptive services paid for by employers.

The answer Christ gives was: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. Render to God the things that are God's."


As soon as this answer is accepted by politicians and the Department of Health and Human Services in good faith, we will be well on our way to a solution.


Arguments will be heard before the Supreme Court of the United States on March 26-28.


It’s definite. Under O-care we all pay for abortion.


In 2009, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated, "Whether you're male or female, whether you're 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that ... would be a separate [abortion] account that everyone in the exchange would pay... It is a bit confusing, but it's really an accounting that would apply across the board and not just to women, and certainly not just to women who want to choose abortion coverage."


The final rules, just issued by the administration, require the enrollee to make two payments: $1 per month for abortion and another payment for the rest of the services covered. As described in the rule, the surcharge can only be disclosed to the enrollee at the time of enrollment.  Furthermore, insurance plans may only advertise the total cost of the premiums without disclosing that enrollees will be charged a $1 per month fee to directly subsidize abortions.


We were told O-care would respect the rights of the unborn and the religious liberty of pro-life citizens who object to having their tax dollars used to fund abortion. Anyone who believed that must now admit that this is just another mandate forcing people to fund abortion over their objections.


"OUTRAGEOUS!" you exclaim. "What can I do to stop this?" you ask. "NOTHING" is the answer. Nothing, that is, except defeat Obama in November. Once the Republicans nominate their candidate, every one of us must do all we can to support that nominee. That is imperative! Anne

Two wins thanks to you!


In the Republican State Committee race last week, 12 of the 18 people we recommended were elected.  They join enough others to make a pro-life majority of the 80 members - and those are just the ones we know about.  Thanks to all of you who voted pro-life in those 18 districts.


Also, huge thanks to those of you who voted in yesterday's poll in the Worcester Telegram: "Do you support Physician-Assisted Suicide?"  When Dr. John Howland drew attention to the poll, "yes" was more than 70%.  Final results, thanks to him and you:



Yes:  35.3%

No:   64.7%


Total Votes:  2208


Pro-Life People are very effective.  Thank you!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Urgent request! Vote DPS poll, Worcester T&G

We just received this and urge you to vote in the poll.  Anne

Dear Colleagues:

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette is conducting a poll today: "Do you support physician-assisted suicide?"
As of now, the results show: Yes 70.4%  No  29.6%  Total votes: 483
Please take a minute TODAY to go to the Telegram home page, on the right side about 1/4 of the way down you'll see "Today's Poll". We need our voices to be heard. Please pass this along to others. 



"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asks for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect." -from the Oath of Hippocrates

Friday, March 9, 2012

DPS Danger in Vermont


The people in Vermont have been holding up DPS legislation for about two years in the face of a governor who ran with it as his top priority. Their session is winding down, so I checked with them, hoping they were home safe for this session. This is what I received:


"Anne, the Chair of Senate Judiciary has just sent notice that he will hold hearings on the bill - we are working like crazy right now to flood the Senators with calls and get people to the SH next week - there will be some press attention and the bill could move to the floor - we have some powerful people on our side and some strong forces against us - I hope we can hold them off, especially for your sake, but as you know, we have always been in danger here - we're working hard and praying up another miracle - we'll know by the end of next week what we face."


Mary's reference to "for your sake" is so scary! Just think how much harder it will be for us to fight DPS if the Vermont legislature legalizes it. Just think of the PR advantage it will give the pro-death lobby in Massachusetts. I have been praying this morning for Vermont. I hope you will join me. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything. Thank you, Anne



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bea's excellent letter

 We are so proud of MCFL Board member, Bea Martins, for her letter with a zing, which appeared in the Taunton Gazette and the Fall River Herald News.



LETTER: Doctor-prescribed suicide a dangerous initiative

The doctor-prescribed suicide initiative is just too dangerous. There are many problems with this initiative; let's discuss two. First, there is a high potential for elder abuse. The initiative does not require a "disinterested" witness to be present while the lethal drug is being administered.

Without a "disinterested" witness, there is an opportunity for the patient's heir or someone who will benefit from the patient's death to give the dose without the patient's consent. How will we know? Also, the death certificate does not list physician-assisted suicide as the cause of death but the underlying illness that the patient originally requested supposedly. We will never know how many seniors are dying from this.

The second problem is that suicide doses are very inexpensive. What temptation! Does the insurance company provide for the expensive cancer treatment or do they kindly let you know they won't cover the cancer treatment but they will cover for the suicide dosages? Seem too far-fetched? This has already happened in Oregon, which is one of the two states that have passed misguided suicide initiatives.

Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup both requested cancer treatment their doctors recommended to help extend their lives. Both received letters from their insurance coverage companies stating they decided not to comply with the doctor's requests, but kindly offered to cover the suicide dosages, which only cost approximately $50. Where is the patient's ability to make choices? It is a play on words. Physician-assisted suicide will offer some insurance companies a cost-saving measure.

Are you ready for this? Don't you think this is just a little too dangerous to unleash here in Massachusetts? By the way, the organization that is supporting this initiative, Compassion and Choices, is the old Hemlock Society. New name but same game!

Bea Martins
Fall River



  Margaret Dore has sent the following: 

Here's a case that illustrates Bea Martins' concerns all too well. Doctors and health care facilities already have far too much leeway that permits them to end people's lives - even when there is no medical reason for it. Read this chilling story about institutional elder abuse:

Kathleen's demise: a cautionary tale



And watch the YouTube video showing this same woman just days before her death, which occurred under suspicious circumstances, in the same institution that was and is still under investigation for attempted murder by morphine overdose of the woman several months earlier:

Damning statistical analysis of Planned Parenthood's business


This is the most amazing piece of analysis. I couldn't wait to share it with you! Anne



An intriguing analysis, by Keith Riler, of Planned Parenthood's business model was recently published by a UK-based magazine.  Planned Parenthood's years of operating history provided the basis for a thorough statistical analysis, providing useful clarity in this highly politicized time.  The analysis concludes that:

  • A 99% positive correlation between Planned Parenthood's government support and its abortions;
  • This 99% statistic contradicts often-heard suggestions of there being no connection between public funding and abortions, and suggests that future Obamacare support of Planned Parenthood will only lead to more abortions;
  • For every $1MM of taxpayer money, Planned Parenthood consistently delivers 949 abortions;
  • An 81-87% positive correlation between Planned Parenthood's contraception distribution and its abortions;
  • This 81-87% statistic directly contradicts Secretary Sebilius' assertion of a negative correlation between contraception and unintended pregnancies and suggests that more Obamacare-supported contraception will lead to more abortions;
  • Planned Parenthood's contraception distribution creates an annual abortion demand backlog equal to 60-70% of its annual abortions;
  • Planned Parenthood's major business lines are abortion/emergency contraception, sexually transmitted diseases/HIV and contraception distribution;
  • Planned Parenthood is not health care in the sense of an annual well woman exam, but more akin to a lifestyle business with an annual customer repeat rate of 4x per year and a frequent flyer programs that offer discounts to return customers (40% discount to returning HIV testers);
  • Planned Parenthood does target children through its push to offer Plan B contraception to sub-17 year olds, through its own admission of targeting adolescents, and, yes, by soliciting the Girl Scouts; and,
  • The Planned Parenthood business model has a precedent; that being a drug dealer who offers freebies early in hopes of higher ticket sales when the customer is desperate. It is a "no choice" business model.

The article, by Keith Riler, can be found here in the March-April issue of Faith Magazine.  The complete magazine download offers a more readable article than clicking on the individual article.

Page Printed from: at March 08, 2012 - 11:24:12 AM CST



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DPS first skirmish: Life 1-0

Yesterday's hearings at the State House were impressive.  


Representative Eugene O'Flaherty, House Chair of the Judiciary Committee, ran the hearings very efficiently. More than 50 people testified in opposition to Doctor Prescribed Suicide. They covered the range of reasons to oppose the bills. Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide taped the hearings. I understand MAADPS will have those and the written testimony on their web site momentarily,


There were only a hand-full of proponents. Apparently, since they know the petition will be on the ballot, they decided to keep their powder dry. There was an interesting contrast. The proponents spoke emotionally about people in difficult situations which, they claim, necessitates changing the law. Opponents talked about what we can do for people in difficult situations and about all the specific problems with the bill.


Rep. John Rogers of Norwood stated, "I think we as a society, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, using our intellect and our ingenuity and combined energies, we define ourselves not by allowing our citizens to die with dignity but by empowering our citizens to live with dignity while they're dying, And in that distinction, we define ourselves as a great, humane society."


Rep Keiko Orrall, Lakeville, reminded the Committee that this is an issue of life, which is precious.


The disability community, lead by John Kelly and Karen Schneiderman, fielded a number of panels. They covered all aspects of the issue, showing the dangers to vulnerable people - the disabled, the elderly, the ill. They pointed out that a life lived with dignity is what allows a person to die with dignity. John said the law is unnecessary because patients already have control over their destiny with the ability to refuse any life-saving treatments and through advanced directives.


John Norton shared that he had been diagnosed with ALS 58 years ago, pointing out that a prognosis can be wrong.


Maggie Murphy of the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts, reported that the state's 59 licensed hospices served more than 21,000 terminally ill patients in 2011, and eight hospices served about 235 children.  


Laura Tuttle, RN, a hospice nurse who has ALS, spoke beautifully, saying, "I will most likely die from respiratory failure within the next few years. But I am not afraid of dying because I know all of my needs will be taken care of by hospice professionals."  


Lynda Young, MD, Barbara Rocket, MD, Leonard Morse, MD, and Henry Dorkin, MD spoke on behalf of the Massachusetts Medical Society. Dr. Young, President of the MMS reported, "At the Medical Society's most recent House of Delegates meeting, which is the Society's policy making body, there was overwhelming support to reaffirm the Medical Society's long standing policy of opposition to physician-assisted suicide. As the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics states, 'It is understandable although tragic, that some patients in extreme duress...may come to decide that death is preferable to life.  However, allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician's role as healer.'"


Another panel of doctors was also very impressive: Helen Jackson, MD, Gil Lavoie, MD, Mark Rollo, MD, and Alexandra Cist,MD, who pointed out that one result of the legislation would be to drive people away from palliative care by making them afraid to use it.


Among the others who testified and made points about the glaring shortcomings in the wording of the petition, and about the lack of respect for human life which would result were Hope Hallett, RN, Deb O'Hara-Rusckowski, RN, Elaine Luzzetti, RN, Michelina DiMartino, a licensed pharmacist, Mary Roque, Esq, Pat Stewart, Esq, Bob Joyce, Esq, and Andrew Beckwith, Esq. Margaret Dore, Esq, flew in from Washington State and presented a detailed legal analysis of the bill. Nancy Elliott, former New Hampshire State Rep, who has been through the battle, came for moral support.


Jim Dixon, Christine LeBlanc, Marie O'Donnell, Kris Mineau, Ed Shanahan, and I also testified. Jim made the point that this petition would be death to dignity and reminded committee members about the loved ones left behind. Many other people whom I did not know spoke and many, many of you submitted written testimony.

As usual, you all came through amazingly! It is such a pleasure to work with people who care about life and are willing to do the work to protect life. Anne