Health Committee Soundly Rejects Assisted Suicide Bill

This morning the House Public Health Committee soundly rejected a proposal that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas.

This is really good news!

H.B. 1536 legalizing physician-assisted suicide has been widely discussed in Arkansas for weeks, and a lot of testimony was offered in the committee meeting when the bill came up this morning.

In the end, not a single state representative who was present for the meeting today supported the bill.

This was a deeply flawed bill. It fundamentally disrespected the sanctity of innocent human life. Arkansans understood that and have made it that they overwhelmingly oppose physician-assisted suicide.

Hats off to everyone who contacted their state legislators and helped defeat H.B. 1536 — including the 123 ministers and church leaders who signed an open letter to the Arkansas Legislature opposing this bill!

More Than 100 Ministers and Church Leaders Sign Letter Against Physician-Assisted Suicide Proposal

One hundred twenty-three ministers and church leaders have signed an open letter to the Arkansas Legislature opposing H.B. 1536, a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas.

Although these ministers and church leaders come from different backgrounds, churches, and denominations from across the state, they all agree that physician-assisted suicide is bad for Arkansans.

Physician-assisted suicide currently is illegal in Arkansas, but H.B. 1536 by Rep. Dan Douglas (R – Bentonville) would let doctors prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients if the doctor believes the patient will die “within a relatively short time.”

This bill is subjective, deeply flawed, and fundamentally disrespects the sanctity of innocent human life.

Unlike other assisted-suicide proposals, the bill does not require patients to undergo counseling first, and it does not contain adequate safeguards to prevent people from being euthanized.

It also does not let faith-based hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes completely prevent doctors from prescribing lethal drugs to their patients.

Family Council has sent a copy of the ministers’ letter opposing physician-assisted suicide to the state representatives serving on the House Public Health Committee.

You can download a copy of the letter and list of the ministers and church leaders who signed it here.

Video: Gov. Huckabee Opposes Assisted Suicide Legislation Filed in Arkansas

Last week, legislation was filed that effectively would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee opposes the bill.

Governor Huckabee’s full statement against the proposal reads,

“Legislation recently introduced in the AR General Assembly to allow doctors to legally kill people with what is believed to be a terminal illness is shocking and disturbing and hopefully will be a “terminally ill” piece of legislation.  To invite medical doctors who have taken an oath to “do no harm” to intentionally kill someone is revolting.  Helping terminally ill patients with comfort and dignity is admirable and hospice groups provide compassionate and honorable assistance in a person’s last days, but I sincerely pray that Arkansas does not join the parade in a culture of death that believes that intentional killing of another innocent human, be it an unborn child or a terminally ill person is an act worthy of civilized people.”

Watch this video to learn more.