from our blog:

living with dying

read more from our blog


Massachusetts Attorney General Certifies Proposed Ballot Measure

The Death with Dignity Act gives terminally ill patients greater control and peace of mind during their final days with family and loved ones.

Dignity 2012, the Massachusetts coalition of concerned citizens working toward passing the next Death with Dignity Act, took another step closer to the 2012 ballot. This week, the Massachusetts Attorney General certified the proposed ballot measure as meeting all the requirements for voter consideration and issued a summary statement for the initiative.

According to Dignity 2012's website:

Now that the ballot language has been certified by the Attorney General, petitioners must collect 68,911 voter signatures by late November. The initiative is then sent to the legislature for consideration. If the legislature chooses not to act on the proposal, additional signatures must be gathered before the question is sent to the voters next year.

According to the Boston Herald this next hurdle is, "typically a costly, intensive effort that has derailed ballot initiatives in previous years." However, with strong public support the prospect of continuing through the process looks bright. According to an online, non-scientific poll when the initiative proposal was filed, over 70% of of the 643 respondents indicated they would vote for this initiative.

Prominent medical professionals are also stepping forward to lend their vocal support. As quoted in the Boston Herald, former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and one of the original petitioners of the proposal, Marcia Angell, stated:

The Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act would create a legally sanctioned process for dying patients whose suffering cannot be adequately controlled to receive a prescription from a licensed physician to bring about a peaceful and dignified death. As a physician who has studied this issue over many years, I believe the people of Massachusetts are ready to consider giving suffering patients this option.

Another of the original petitioners, a long-time rights advocate, and former Legislative Director for the ACLU of Massachusetts, Norma Shapiro, quoted on Dignity 2012's site, explained why this legislation is necessary:

The Death with Dignity Act gives terminally ill patients greater control and peace of mind during their final days with family and loved ones. It affirms our right as individuals to make decisions about our own end-of-life care.

Are you ready to join the effort to allow terminally-ill Bay Staters to decide when or whether to hasten their deaths? Sign up to get involved through the Massachusetts Death with Dignity Coalition.

Posted on September 8, 2011 in Massachusetts, New England, Press Room

Comments

  • Posted by Helena Thornley on Thursday, September 29 at 08:26 p.m.

    How can I sign Mass petition?
    Thanks

  • Posted by Melissa Barber on Tuesday, October 04 at 11:49 a.m.

    Sorry for my delay in responding, Helena. I just returned from vacation to find your inquiry. I'll send an email to you as well.

    The best way to get involved with the Massachusetts effort is to contact the coalition of concerned citizens working to pass their Death with Dignity Act in 2012. Please check out their website to learn more: http://www.dignity2012.org/

    Best,
    Melissa
    --------------
    Melissa Barber
    Electronic Communications Specialist
    Death with Dignity National Center

  • Posted by Pat DelSignore on Thursday, October 06 at 11:24 a.m.

    I want to sign it,too. I will get signatures, also if you need me too.

  • Posted by Melissa Barber on Thursday, October 06 at 03:46 p.m.

    Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm, Pat! I'll send an email to you as well. The best way to find out where copies of the petition are is to contact Dignity 2012 (http://www.dignity2012.org/?page_id=41). I also found this information on their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/Dignity2012) in response to another person asking about signing the petition:

    "We'll be holding gatherings around the Commonwealth to give people a chance to learn more about Death with Dignity and sign the petition. Please sign up for updates at www.Dignity2012.org and keep checking our FB page. Thanks for your support!"

    Best,
    Melissa
    ------------
    Melissa Barber
    Electronic Communications Specialist
    Death with Dignity National Center

  • Posted by Melissa Barber on Tuesday, October 11 at 02:35 p.m.

    I just noticed a new page on Dignity 2012's website: http://www.dignity2012.org/?page_id=112

    If you're interested in collecting petition signatures to put the Death with Dignity Act on the Massachusetts ballot, you can sign up through this form to receive a kit with instructions, blank petition sheets, and a return envelope.

    Best,
    Melissa
    ------------
    Melissa Barber
    Electronic Communications Specialist
    Death with Dignity National Center

Defend dignity. Take action.

You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.

donate today