As a Christian I oppose both of these measures; it is placing someone’s life and the length of it in the power of another human: I believe the only one who should have the power to end someone’s life is the one who gave it, God. Below are some issues those here in Vermont must consider when considering assisted suicide in connection with elder abuse.
In Vermont, there are an estimated 3,750 cases of violence and abuse against elders each year. Nationwide, elder financial abuse is a crime growing in intensity, with perpetrators often family members, but also strangers and new "best friends." Victims are even murdered for their funds.
Elder abuse is often difficult to detect. This is largely due to the unwillingness of victims to report. "Shame, dependence on the abuser, fear of retribution, and isolation from the community are significant obstacles that discourage elders from reporting … "
In Vermont, preventing abuse of vulnerable adults, including the elderly, is official state policy. If assisted suicide would be legalized via an Oregon-style act, the gaps would create new paths of abuse against the elderly, which is contrary to that policy. Moreover, some gaps cannot be filled. Representative Elliott states: "[Assisted suicide] acts empower heirs and others to pressure and abuse older people to cut short their lives. This is especially an issue when the older person has money. There is no assisted suicide bill that you can write to correct this huge problem."
These are important issues to consider.