For Marine, physician-assisted suicide is a dangerous practice, with promised safeguards "an illusion."
"Suicidal impulses of everyone else in society are treated with crisis intervention," said Marine, who argued that patients who qualify for legal assisted suicide are denied such intervention and are "tacitly or explicitly encouraged to take their own lives."
He objected to the lack of required formal psychiatric evaluation and minimal informed consent for a patient seeking assisted suicide. No witnesses are required for the consumption of the lethal drugs, and legal assisted suicide proposal lacks routine audits and impartial third-party oversight.
"In addition, physicians and other participants are given broad legal immunity and records are excluded from legal discovery or subpoena. There is no accountability," Marine said in his Baltimore Sun essay.
In practice, assisted suicide means prescribing a non-FDA-approved lethal overdose of a drug or drugs to a person "believed to have a terminal illness."
In Washington state, doctors experimenting with new physician-assisted suicide drug cocktails caused some patients to scream in pain before dying, said Marine, who cited a Kaiser Health News report published Feb. 16, 2017 in USA Today.
The lack of medical witnesses for 80 percent of patient deaths in assisted suicide means it is unknown whether complications took place.
Marine said assisted suicide advocates make false assumptions about the reliability of a terminal medical prognosis. Some patients who received a prescription for assisted suicide drugs, but did not use it, continued living for several years.
In practice, doctors are unable to determine whether a patient considered "terminal" has six months to live with "sufficient reliability," Marine said. This means some patients would die needlessly.
The "vast majority" of doctors will not take part in assisted suicide, he added. Where it is legalized, almost all prescriptions are "written by a small handful of doctors who may know little about the patients requesting it."
After the District of Columbia legalized doctor-assisted suicide in 2017, only two of the 11,000 licensed physicians signed up to prescribe the relevant drugs, Marine reported.
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Marine cited opposition to physician-assisted suicide from the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the World Medical Association. Almost all disability rights organizations also oppose the practice.
Doctor-assisted suicide has led to wider forms of euthanasia in every country that has legalized it, he said.
Marine praised Maryland's palliative and hospice care, saying its programs are recognized as among the best in the country. He said support for these programs should be the primary focus of the state legislature, and not assisted suicide.
Maryland's latest assisted suicide bill is the fourth proposal in five years. Similar bills were introduced in 2015, 2016 and 2017 but were withdrawn before they could be voted down.
The legislation has also drawn opposition from the Maryland Catholic Conference, the Maryland Psychiatric Society and Baltimore City Medical Society.
"As Catholics we stand firm with our partners across the state to strongly oppose this legislation," Jennifer Briemann, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, said Feb. 1.