Delaware Lawmakers Advance Assisted-Suicide Legislation

A measure permitting assisted-suicide is advancing in the Delaware legislature.

Last week, Delaware’s House Human Health and Development Committee passed H.B. 140 — a bad bill  that would let physicians and advance practice registered nurses (APRNs) in Delaware prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients.

The measure does not require patients to undergo any type of mental health evaluation before receiving the lethal drugs. That is significant, because patients who seek assisted suicide typically are dealing with depression or mental anguish resulting from their illness. 

For example, since 1998, more than 90% of the terminally ill people who inquired about assisted suicide in Oregon said they were concerned about losing their autonomy, and nearly 75% expressed worries about losing their dignity. Most did not express concerns about controlling their pain.

Many of these patients are lonely and feel like they are losing control over their lives because of their illness. That means they need counseling and support — not a prescription for poisonous drugs.

Despite this fact, the vast majority of Oregon’s assisted-suicide patients never receive a mental health evaluation. The same is true in other states where assisted-suicide is legal.

Assisted suicide also makes it harder for patients to receive actual healthcare.

In 2019  a Canadian man with ALS made headlines when he chose to take his own life under the country’s assisted suicide and euthanasia laws after the government chose not to provide him with 24-hour home healthcare services due to cost.

In parts of the U.S. where physician-assisted suicide is permitted, insurance companies have refused to pay for patients’ medical care, but have offered to cover assisted-suicide drugs.

Being pro-life means believing human life is sacred from conception until natural death.

That’s part of the reason why in 2019 Family Council helped defeat a very bad legislative proposal to let doctors prescribe lethal drugs to patients in Arkansas. It was a deeply flawed piece of legislation that fundamentally disrespected the sanctity of innocent human life.

Just like abortion, euthanasia and assisted-suicide are murder, and they violate the sanctity of human life. Pro-lifers must stand strong against them.

Lawmakers in Other States Look to Enshrine Abortion, LGBT Measures in State Constitutions

In the wake of the 2022 Dobbs decision that reversed Roe v. Wade, liberal groups around the country have turned their attention toward state policies.

A proposed constitutional amendment filed in Arkansas this year would have enshrined a right to abortion in the state’s constitution. Lawmakers did not pass that amendment, and it expired when legislators officially adjourned the 2023 session on May 1.

In Oregon, lawmakers are weighing the possibility of writing abortion into the constitution along with special LGTB provisions.

We expect these types of initiatives to escalate in the coming months.

Below is a news report from Oregon highlighting these pro-abortion and pro-LGBT efforts.

Social Media Serves “Diet of Darkness” to Teens: WSJ

A recent Wall Street Journal column highlights how social media giant TikTok is serving teens “a diet of darkness” online.

Julie Jargon writes,

recent study found that when researchers created accounts belonging to fictitious 13-year-olds, they were quickly inundated with videos about eating disorders, body image, self-harm and suicide.

If that sounds familiar, a Wall Street Journal investigation in 2021 found that TikTok steers viewers to dangerous content. TikTok has since strengthened parental controls and promised a more even-keeled algorithm, but the new study suggests the app experience for young teens has changed little.

The article goes on to offer examples of harmful content directed at teens — including content that encourages suicide ideation, eating disorders, and other dangerous activities.

All of this underscores that Arkansas’ lawmakers did the right thing this year by passing legislation to regulate social media use among minors.

In April the state’s General Assembly passed S.B. 396, the Social Media Safety Act, by Sen. Tyler Dees (R – Siloam Springs) and Rep. Jon Eubanks (R – Paris) says that social media companies must use age verification to ensure minors do not access social media platforms without parental consent.

The measure contains protections for user privacy. A social media company that violated the law could be held liable.

S.B. 396 narrowly cleared the Arkansas Senate, but received strong support in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Governor Sanders signed it into law following its passage.

More and more, we hear stories illustrating how social media platforms host content that isn’t suitable for children. The adults who operate these platforms should not be able to register children as users without parental consent. Laws like S.B. 396 help address this serious problem.