By Tanya Connor
WORCESTER – A new bill to legalize physician assisted suicide in Massachusetts is worse than other such bills, and people are needed to oppose it at a hearing later this month, a local Catholic said.
Sandra Kucharski, a retired nurse practitioner from of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, joined doctors in detailing reasons to oppose physician assisted suicide, and H1991 in particular, in a presentation at the Worcester Public Library Sept. 15.
The doctors were Paul Carpentier, a family physician and hospitalist at area hospitals, and William J. Lawton, an adjunct professor at UMass Medical School. Dr. Lawton, formerly an internal medicine physician in Iowa, said he has dealt with end of life issues for 20 years.
Their presentation was one of 14 being organized around the state by Massachusetts Citizens For Life and the Massachusetts Alliance Against Physician Assisted Suicide, said Miss Kucharski, a member of MCFL’s board of directors.
She said that, as a nurse, she looked at H1991 and found it bad. Then she learned of the assessment of Rita L. Marker, a lawyer and executive director of the Patients Rights Council, who has studied such bills in different states.
“She said it is the worst piece of legislation she has seen,” Miss Kucharski said.
A hearing about it is to be held before the Joint Committee on Public Health Oct. 27 in the Gardner Auditorium at the Boston statehouse, Miss Kucharski said. “Crowds” are needed to go, wear buttons opposing the bill and give verbal or written testimony against it, she said. She said she developed guidelines for written