‘Dangerous practice’ of telehealth assisted suicide to continue through 2024

euthanasia, assisted suicide

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has extended temporary rules allowing controlled medications to be prescribed through telehealth — allowing people to access assisted suicide without seeing a doctor in person.

CNN reported on the new development earlier this month. “The DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced May 9 that the temporary rules would be extended through November 11, while the DEA and HHS considered the public comments and any revisions to the proposals — buying more time for telehealth patients who might have otherwise experienced a disruption in care,” the article explained. “Now, after holding two days of public listening sessions on the rules in September, the DEA and HHS have further extended the flexibilities through December 31, 2024.”

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition said, “This means that the dangerous practise of approving assisted suicide by telehealth will continue in states that permit assisted suicide until December 31, 2024.”

READ: Disability groups fight back as California assisted suicide rates skyrocket

The Associated Press (AP) spotlighted the issue, with one patient they featured receiving the fatal drugs without ever meeting the prescribing physician in person. That physician, Dr. Robin Plumer, told the AP that 35% to 40% of her assisted suicide patients since 2020 were through telehealth appointments. “I feel like we’ve taught people over the past couple of years that telemedicine does work in so many areas and it’s a great improvement for people,”she said. “And what? They’re suddenly going to yank that away?”

Despite the ease with which telehealth makes it possible for people to die, that doesn’t make it a positive development. And contrary to popular belief (due to assisted suicide propaganda), people do not often opt for assisted suicide to avoid a painful death.

Statistics have repeatedly found the vast majority make the decision to die due to a fear of losing autonomy, and not being able to enjoy the same activities as before. Other studies have found that people fear being a burden on their loved ones. With telehealth assisted suicide, it would make it even more likely that a depressed, hopeless person could be pressured into dying, and the prescribing doctor with no relationship whatsoever with the patient.

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