MA Assisted Suicide Update

“Bills can also be extended which is often a signal from the committee that it needs more time to consider the legislation. This is an invitation to everyone who cares about this legislation to fight harder than ever before on its behalf.”

Senator Jo Comerford, chair of joint committee on public health

As anticipated, the Joint Committee on Public Health extended the End of Life Options act – what I call the assisted suicide bill while Jo Comeford, the committee chair, calls it death with dignity. Given she presented the bill in this session, this is not a surprise. The deadline is now set for December 31st. Here is how she describes what is involved:

Death with Dignity: S.1384, An Act Relative to End of Life Options, allows patients with terminal conditions to choose a peaceful death with dignity, by requesting medication from a doctor that the person may self-administer at a time of their own choosing, should suffering become unbearable. It requires following a rigorous process for patients and physicians to observe in order to protect potentially vulnerable people from coercion.

Anyone who knows one or more of the countless elder and disabled patients that have had a medical clinician “suggest” to them that they should look into assisted suicide knows these protections are ineffective. And we know once legalized, suicide proponents will remove the “rigorous process” by claiming it to be a “barrier”.

She says bill extensions are a time to fight harder on their behalf, but for assisted suicide, it is the time to fight harder to prevent it ever seeing the light of day on the chamber floor! We anticipate it will be sent to the Health Care Finance Committee as it was last year, but nothing has happened as of yet.

We are still lobbying legislators and letting them know the dangers this bill poses to patients, families, and clinicians! Continue to contact and meet with your legislators – and ask us along! Our team has many resources and a lot of experience speaking to legislators on this issue.

Continue your prayers as well!

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