Allowing terminally-ill Minnesotans access to medication to end their lives is the goal of a bill that’s been re-introduced at the state legislature. Bobbi Jacobsen, a Richfield resident with A-L-S, said through a voice-synthesizer, “Eventually I will lose my ability to live without being attached to a machine that will breathe for me, but my thinking will be sharp…. Not allowing people like me a peaceful alternative is wrong. Before I reach this stage, I’d like to have the option for a peaceful, painless death.” Patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia would not have access to medications to end their lives because they’re not in full possession of their mental faculties.
The bill is strongly opposed by pro-life groups and has virtually no chance of passing the Republican-controlled legislature. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life warns that legalizing what it terms assisted suicide would open the door to new kinds of pressure and coercion. The group says Oregon statistics show 40 percent of those obtaining life-ending medications have expressed concern about being a burden on family and friends.