Massachusetts providers sign open letter against assisted suicide

More than 100 physicians, registered nurses and physicians assistants in Massachusetts signed an open letter opposing legislation to legalize assisted suicide in the state.

Stating that "We firmly believe that providing lethal drugs for purposes of suicide constitutes abandonment of the patient and a corruption of medicine," the letter targets two bills under consideration by the state legislature, one in the House and one in the Senate.

The legislation places an "unconscionable burden" on healthcare professionals who do not wish to break the Hippocratic Oath, the letter states.

By creating a financial incentive for insurance companies and governments to deny lifesaving treatment, the bills have the potential to cause the most vulnerable patients to suffer, the letter states.

The letter also says that during a statewide referendum in 2012, Massachusetts residents rejected the legalization of assisted suicide.

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