Recent data from the CDC shows that deaths resulting from suicide and drug overdose — what many experts call “deaths from despair” — are on the rise in America.
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.
On Wednesday Rep. Dan Douglas (R – Bentonville) filed H.B. 1536 effectively legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas.
This bad bill lets doctors prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients.
Unlike some assisted suicide proposals, H.B. 1536 doesn’t require the patient to be referred to a counselor before being given the suicide drugs.
Under H.B. 1536, Christian hospitals, hospices, and healthcare facilities would not be able to stop doctors who work for them from prescribing suicide drugs to their patients.
In other states, laws like this one have made it possible for elderly, ill, or vulnerable individuals to be euthanized. H.B. 1536 does not contain safeguards to prevent that from happening in Arkansas.
This bad bill fundamentally disrespects the sanctity of innocent human life.
Please encourage your state representative and your state senator to oppose H.B. 1536 by Rep. Dan Douglas, the bill allowing physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas.
You can leave a message for your state representative by calling the Arkansas House switchboard during normal business hours at (501) 682-6211.
You can leave a message for your state senator by calling the Arkansas Senate switchboard during normal business hours at (501) 682-2902.