On Tuesday, November 6th the voters of Massachusetts defeated a ballot initiative that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide. A few weeks ago, the polls in Massachusetts showed support for the ballot initiative on physician-assisted suicide running 68% in favor to 19% opposed. However, due to the combined efforts of Second Thoughts, an organization that represents the disability community, along with members of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Hospice, churches and pro-life organizations, the initiative was defeated 51% – 49%. As the voters of Massachusetts were made aware of the dangers and risk for abuse of the initiative, support for the measure plummeted.
Calling it a stunning upset, the PR Newswire reported the news of the measure’s defeat here.
A majority of editorial boards of major newspapers opposed the initiative, including:
1. The Cape Cod Times – Vote No on Question 2
2. The Salem News – Our View: No on Question 2
3. The Worchester Telegram and Gazette – Vote “No” on Question 2
4. The Boston Herald – No on Question 2
5. The New Bedford Standard Times – Our View: Death with Dignity law fatally flawed
6. The Bay State Banner – Vote No on Question 2
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, was interviewed by her local paper and stated that, “my late husband Sen. Edward Kennedy called quality, affordable health care for all the cause of his life. Question 2 turns his vision of health care for all on its head by asking us to endorse patient suicide — not patient care — as our public policy for dealing with pain and the financial burdens of care at the end of life.”