Death with Dignity Around the U.S.

Updated as of June 6, 2014

Bills which seek to improve end-of-life care have been introduced in state legislatures around the country, and state legislators look to the Oregon Death with Dignity Act as a guide for good reason. Oregon's law has been in effect since 1997, and the years of data show the law is safe and utilized the way it's intended with no evidence of a slippery slope for vulnerable Oregonians. Our win in Washington in 2008 and our 2013 victory in Vermont demonstrate this solid legislation stands the test of time and serves as the model for all states.

While many bills are drafted each year, the majority fail. Some consider it a failure most bills don't end up becoming law, but we view these bills as a testament to the growing support of the Death with Dignity movement, the will of the public, and the strength of the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont model legislation.

Below is a summary of the status of current Death with Dignity-related legislation in the US.

Bills in favor of physician-assisted death:

Connecticut
Bill Numbers House Bill 5326
Bill title An Act Concerning Compassionate Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients
Summary Introduces legislation similar to the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws.
Date Introduced 2/24/14
Latest update Introduced and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health on 2/24/14. Public hearing on 3/17/14. Bill missed deadline and won't advance this session.
Hawaii
Bill Number House Bill 606
Bill title Relating to Death with Dignity
Summary Introduces legislation similar to the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws.
Date Introduced 1/18/13
Latest update Introduced and referred to Health, Judicial and Financial Committees on 1/22/13 and was carried over to the 2014 session on 12/18/13. Bill missed deadline and is unlikely to move forward this session.
Kansas
Bill Number House Bill 2068
Bill title Kansas Death with Dignity Act
Summary Introduces legislation similar to the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws.
Date Introduced 1/23/13
Latest update Referred to Committee on Health and Human Services on 1/24/13. The bill is open for consideration throughout 2013-2014 biennium. Bill missed deadline and is unlikely to move forward this session.
Massachusetts
Bill Number House Bill 1998
Bill title An Act affirming a terminally ill patient's right to compassionate aid in dying
Summary Introduces legislation similar to the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws.
Date Introduced 1/22/13
Latest update Introduced and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health. The Committee heard testimony on 12/17/13. Bill missed deadline and is unlikely to move forward this session.
New Hampshire
Bill Number House Bill 1325
Bill title An Act relative to death with dignity for certain persons suffering from a terminal condition.
Summary Introduces legislation similar to the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws.
Date Introduced 1/8/14
Latest update Introduced and referred to the Judiciary Committee. The committee heard testimony on 2/4/14 and Executive Session was held on 2/18/14. Committee vote nearly an even split, 9 voting against it and 8 voting for the bill, and on 3/6/14 the House voted against the bill.
New Jersey
Bill Number Senate Bill 382 and Assembly Bill 2270
Bill title New Jersey Death with Dignity Act
Summary Introduces legislation similar to the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws.
Date Introduced 1/14/14 in the Senate and 2/6/14 in the Assembly.
Latest update Senate bill introduced and referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. Assembly bill introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. On 6/5/14, the Assembly Committee voted 8-4 to advance the bill.
Pennsylvania
Bill Number Senate Bill 1032
Bill title Death with Dignity Act
Summary Introduces legislation similar to the Oregon, Washington, and Vermont Death with Dignity laws.
Date Introduced 6/24/13
Latest update On 6/24/13 bill was introduced and referred to the Judiciary committee. The bill is open for consideration throughout 2013-2014 biennium.

Did we miss one? Contact Melissa with updates on your state.

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.

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