Dear Members of the Delaware General Assembly,
I am writing with grave concerns for HB140 or the Medical Assistance in Dying Bill. My concerns are very personal in nature. My beloved son, Sean Locke, took his life four years ago. Sean was a Saint Marks’ and UD Graduate. He was an outstanding athlete and captain of the Saint Mark’s and UD mens basketball team. Sean also suffered from depression.
In recent months, Delaware has promoted advances in mental health to prevent depression and address the epidemic of suicide by increasing mental health counselors in our schools. The consequences of passing the “aid in dying bill “ to offer lethal drug doses to the terminally ill, disabled, or those suffering from depression or other mental health illnesses WILL NEGATE any of the mental health advances the state is funding. There is NO such thing as a “good suicide.”
The resounding fallout of allowing suicide in “some instances” has advanced by amendments in other areas to include the mentally ill and other vulnerable populations. There has to be a consistent ethics in law or the law is flawed. HB140 does not meet the standard of ethics.
You cannot promote suicide prevention in one population such as teens and young adults and then promote assisted suicide in another population such as the elderly, disabled, or mentally/terminally ill.
I struggle every day with PTSD having lost and found my son deceased due to suicide. I would not want the suicide contagion consequences of this bill to leave countless other families to suffer PTSD as a result of losing family members to so called “acceptable suicide” or the lethal drug prescriptions totally unaccountable for after administered to a family member.
I urge you to vote NO to HB140 to save the lives of those who suffer from depression, terminal illness or disabilities. This bill does nothing to save lives and negates Delaware’s efforts to promote mental well-being. This bill also promotes suffering of those left behind.
As a nurse, I know that hospice and palliative care is the answer for imminently dying persons. Assisted suicide is not the compassionate choice but rather the act of abandonment.
Pamela Diksa, RN, BSN, MEd in School Counseling
Sean’s Mom #24 Forever23