LANSING, Mich., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued tonight by Dr. Cathy Blight of Flint, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Citizens for Compassionate Care and President of the Michigan State Medical Society:
"We are gratified, though not surprised, by the overwhelming vote of the people of Michigan to reject Proposal B.
"The real story behind this victory is the grassroots nature of this campaign. When thousands of doctors began saying, 'B is Bad,' it affected their families, staffs, and patients. Thousands of Michigan residents work for, volunteer with, or have been served by hospice programs.
"The hospice movement's unequivocal message against B moved thousands of votes. The disability rights community denounced Proposal B, and their circle of influence pushed thousands more NO votes. When Jewish, Muslim, Protestant and Catholic leaders spoke out for true compassion, hundreds of thousands took it to heart.
"You cannot drive anywhere in the state without seeing a flood of 'NO on B' yard signs. That's a telling expression of citizen democracy. This was a campaign by the people, for the people.
"Surely the vote on Proposal B does not signal the end of the debate on assisted suicide. Some might argue that if B weren't so badly written, or if the proponents would have waged a better campaign, the outcome could have been different. But such speculation misses the message of this vote.
"Michigan wants compassion and comfort for those facing their final days. They don't want death bureaucracies or manipulations of vulnerable patients.
"What all of us must do now, including supporters of Proposal B, is to join our efforts to deliver what Michigan wants -- dignity, compassion and comfort.
"We must set our sights on a new campaign that will ensure that the citizens of Michigan have access to all appropriate care at the end of life."