OPEN LETTER

OPEN LETTER FROM MASSACHUSETTS PHYSICIANS AND HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IN OPPOSITION TO LEGALIZATION OF ASSISTED SUICIDE

 

We, the undersigned physicians and healthcare professionals of Massachusetts, are strongly opposed to S 1208 and H 1926, legislation to legalize the practice of assisted suicide in Massachusetts.  We firmly believe that providing lethal drugs for purposes of suicide constitutes abandonment of the patient and a corruption of medicine.

 

  • We adhere to the prescient statement of the 2,500 year old Hippocratic Oath which states: “I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view toward injury and wrong-doing.  Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.”  The Massachusetts bills place an unconscionable burden on physicians who do not wish to violate this Oath.
  • As physicians and healthcare professionals, we embrace a culture where ALL people receive appropriate medical care, regardless of economic state, ethnicity, age or disability. We believe that the most vulnerable patients will suffer from legalization of lethal drugs by creation of a financial incentive for insurance companies and governments to save money by approving coverage of cheaper lethal drugs and denying lifesaving treatment, as has happened in states where assisted suicide is legal. 
  • Currently, there are many specialties in medicine and large numbers of physicians and healthcare professionals with no familiarity with patients at the end of life. Yet, S 1208 and H 1926 allow physicians and healthcare professionals with no expertise and no knowledge of the patient and the inability to accurately diagnose depression to prescribe lethal drugs.  These drugs are taken with no medical supervision and sometimes without the awareness of family members.  S 1208 and H 1926 require falsification of the death certificate which makes investigation of a suspicious death impossible.
  • We strongly support the position of the Massachusetts Medical Society for much better funding for palliative care, hospice care and compassionate care as the way to treat patients with terminal conditions.
  • Massachusetts citizens have already firmly rejected the legalization of assisted suicide in a statewide referendum in 2012.
  • We align ourselves with The American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians, the nation’s two largest medical organizations, who recently overwhelmingly re-affirmed opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide.
  • We urge the Massachusetts legislature to increase resources for hospice and palliative care to provide compassionate care at the end of life and to reject S 1208 and H 1926 and all efforts to legalize the prescription of lethal drugs.  

 

Michael Mastromatteo, M.D.

Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

Beverly

 

Navid Mahooti, M.D., M.P.H.

Family Medicine, Sports Medicine

Beverly

 

Kerry Pound, M.D.

Pediatrics

Beverly

 

John Barravecchio, M.D.

Internal Medicine

Milton

 

Patricia Lawton, P.T.

Physical Therapist

Sutton

 

William Lawton, M.D.

Internal Medicine Nephrology

Sutton

 

Peter Moschovis, M.D.

Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Boston

 

Brigid Koenan, R.N.

Nursing

Boston

 

Karen O’Brien, M.D.

Palliative Care

Boston

 

Kevin Lanphear, D.O.

Family Practice

Newburyport

 

Paul Church, M.D.

Urology

Wayland

 

John Chang, D.O., M.S.c., F.A.C.E.P

Emergency Medicine

Lawrence

 

Luca Zazzeron, M.D.

Anesthesia

Boston

 

Tracy Balboni, M.D.

Radiation Oncology

Boston

 

Lorenzo Berra, M.D.

Anesthesiology, Critical Care

Boston

 

Kristine Correira, P.A.-C.

Physician Assistant

Charlton

 

Susan Kucharski

Gerontology

Chester

 

Kathleen Lake, R.N.

Nursing

West Boyleston

 

Sandra Kucharski, R.N.

Nursing

West Boyleston

 

Mark Rollo, M.D.

Fitchburg

 

Thomas Sullivan, M.D.

Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases

Beverly

 

Madelyn Hicks, M.D. M.R.C.Phych

Psychiatry

Worcester

 

Jane Heinser, R.N., B.S.

Pediatrics

Worcester

 

Ronald Pies, M.D.

Psychiatry

Lexington

 

Sheldon Benjamin, M.D.

Neuropsychiatry

Worcester

 

John Howland, M.D.

Family Practice

Southbridge

 

David Ramsey, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Ophthalmology

Winchester

 

Margaret Morgan, M.S., R.N.

Nursing

North Andover

 

Sr. Mary Elizabeth, R.N.

School Nurse, Pediatrics

Still River

 

David Petullo, M.D.

Hospital Medicine

Sterling

 

Miriam E. Vincent, M.D.

Radiology

Boston

 

Anne Daunt, B.C.G.P.

Pharm D

Norton

 

Gilbert Lavoie, M.D.

Internal Medicine

Falmouth

 

Joseph Gravel, M.D.

Family Medicine

North Reading

 

Richard Florentine, M.D.

Internal Medicine

West Roxbury

 

Francis Rockett, M.D.

Neurosurgery

Newton

 

Victor Saldanha, M.D.

Internal Medicine

Lynnfiled

 

William Sullivan, M.D.

Endocrinology

Boston

 

Joanna Sawicka, M.D.

Radiation Oncology

Winchester

 

Laura Petrillo, M.D.

Palliative Care

Boston

 

Charles Kelley, M.D.

Anesthesiology

Andover

 

Frank Coco, M.D.

Hematology and Oncology

Chestnut Hill

 

Miguel Zialcita, M.D.

Neurology

Norwood

 

John Dooley, M.D.

Vascular Surgery

Winchester

 

David Stromberg, M.D.

Psychiatry

Needham

 

Peter Morin, M.D., Ph.D.

Neurology

Needham

 

Katherine Reda, R.N.

Nursing

Dedham

 

Rita Russo, R.N.

Obstetrics

Norwood

 

Lucy A. Bayer-Zwirello, M.D.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Brighton

 

Mariette Murphy, M.D.

Pediatrics

Cambridge

 

Barbara Rockett, M.D.

General Surgery

Newton

 

Joy Pelc, R.N.

Retired

Greenfield

 

Rebecca Worden, M.D.

Family Medicine

Templeton

 

Aimee Beck, N.P.

Family Medicine

Gardner

 

Nancy Ann Faller, R.N., M.S.N., Ph.D, CWOCN

Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing

Turners Falls

 

Eileen Clossick, R.N.

Nursing

Boston

 

Lisa Carr, M.D.

Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

Chelsea

 

Miguel Preito, M.D.

Internal Medicine

Bourne

 

Corinne Tan, M.D. 

Cardiac Surgery

Boston

 

Arash Tadbiri

Family Medicine/Geriatrics

Bourne

 

Mark Albanese, M.D.

Psychiatry 

Cambridge

 

Anne Bowler, M.D.

Obstetrician–postpartum

Dracut

 

Jeevendra Martyn, M.D.

Anesthesiology and Intensive Care

Boston

 

Santiago Lozano Calderon, M.D., PhD

Orthopedic Oncology

Boston

 

Victor Saldanha, M.D.

Internal Medicine/Geriatrics

Lynnfield

 

Lija Joseph, M.D.

Pathology

Newton

 

Patricia Jay, M.D.

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dedham

 

Ximena Castro, M.D.

Worcester

 

Ann Francine Dzialo, M.D.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Groton

 

Andrew Ayers, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgery
Peabody

 

Tomislaw Zargaj, M.D.

Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry

Salem

 

Jacob Joseph, M.D.

Internal Medicine Cardiology

Boston

 

Ann Salerno, M.D.

Pediatrics Nephrology 

Hopkinton

 

Cara O’Connor, M.D.

Pediatrics 

Boston

 

Roselia Castro, R.N.

Nurse

Worcester

 

Giles Whalen, M.D.

Surgical Oncology

Sutton

 

Patrick Johnson, M.D.

Internal Medicine 

Boston

 

Sylvia Mary Yuet OOI, M.D.

Pediatric Immunonephrology; Immunology, Cell Biologist

Brookline

 

John Worden, M.D. 

Family Practice

Templeton

 

Ellen Johnson, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology

North Andover

 

Kathleen Caruso, P.A.-C

Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine 

Westwood

 

Shirley Gonzalez, M.D.

Pediatrics, Obesity Medicine

Westwood

 

Agnieszka Snioch, M.D.

Family Medicine

Leominster

 

Patti Laenen, R.N.

Women, Aos Health 

Weymouth

 

Barbara Horgan

Social Worker 

North Brookfield

 

Maria Theroux, R.N., Traveler and MDS

Agawam

 

Sandra Rago, LICSW, EMT-B

Social Worker

Brighton

 

Jean Marshall, BSN, RN, CHCQM

Geriatrics

Marshfield

 

Deborah Perret, R.N. 

Nursing

Scituate

 

Corinn Dahm, Ph.D.

Pharmacology/toxicology

Berlin

 

Alexandra Cist, M.D.

Pulmonary and Critical Care; Clinical Ethics

Winchester

 

Helen Jackson, M.D.

Obstetrics and Gynecology  

Brighton

 

Jay Glaser, M.D.

Internal Medicine

Leominster

 

Jancy Thomas, M.D.

Hospital Medicine

Leominster

 

Carmel Kelly, M.D.

Family Medicine

Randolph

 

Sara Petullo, P.T., M.S.

Physical Therapist

Sterling

 

Lynne Crawford, APRN-NP

Primary Care-Internal Medicine

Needham

 

Jeevendra Nartyn, M.D.

Anesthesiology Intenseive Care Medicine

Boston

 

Vallerie St. Preux, R.N.

Dedham

 

Morgan Mahoney, M.D.

Internal Medicine

Needham

 

Lina Vawter, M.D.

Psychiatry

Worcester

 

Sierra Parker, M.D.

Clinical Dietician, Dialysis

Boston