Senator Kissel Speaks Out Against Assisted Suicide Legislation

March 3, 2005

State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) spoke out during a Judiciary Committee hearing on February 28 th against a proposal that would allow those convicted of assisting in a suicide to avoid a permanent record. The legislation, which was heard at a Public Hearing in the Judiciary Committee on Monday, would give judges the opportunity to grant applications for accelerated rehabilitation to citizens who help others commit suicide.

“I feel strongly that approving this legislation is sending a very poor message that we, as a state, are somehow condoning suicide,” said Senator Kissel. “Helping another person commit suicide is a very serious crime. Significantly lightening the possible consequences for those who commit this crime sends a very dangerous message that we feel their actions do not warrant strong punishment. This is not the direction our state should be heading.”

Senator Kissel also explained that such legislation would set a legal precedent that could open the door towards Connecticut allowing physician-assisted suicide in the future.

“Accelerated rehabilitation amounts to little more than a warning,” continued Senator Kissel, who serves as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee. “Proponents of physician-assisted suicide thus may be able to use this as a legal foot-hold to move the state one step closer towards completely allowing assisted suicides in certain cases. I am firmly opposed to any form of assisted suicide and will continue to advocate against this proposal.”

Senator Kissel is currently serving his seventh term representing the 7 th district, which currently consists of the communities of East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.