Letters: Impact of HB 1283 relative to end-of-life options: A disabled veteran’s perspective

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To the editor:

I enlisted in the Air Force 39 years ago. I’m one of three members of my immediate family who proudly served our country. I’m a disabled veteran with a spinal cord injury and HB 1283 greatly alarms me!

This bill preys upon the weak. Physician-assisted suicide poses a threat to many populations who are highly susceptible to suicide. This is especially true for our veterans who are experiencing PTSD, depression, traumatic brain injury, etc.

They don’t need euthanasia to be the first solution to their problems. We should be providing them with the proper help and tools they need to succeed and make a better life for themselves and their families.

This bill would undermine NH’s suicide prevention programs. New Hampshire RSA 126-R establishes a Council on Suicide Prevention and has implemented a suicide prevention plan. The Veterans Administration (VA) announced that ending veteran suicide is its top clinical priority, and a White House fact sheet calls veteran suicide a “public health and national security crisis.” The passage of HB 1283 would create a double standard on suicide prevention by increasing suicides.

Veterans are the backbone of this country. If the door of physician-assisted suicide is opened, even an inch, there is nothing to prevent it from opening as far as it will go and harming our veteran community.

Picture1Melinda Simms
Belmont, NH
Disabled Air Force Veteran
United Spinal Association

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