Amid all the turmoil in Washington, D.C., right now, two more jurisdictions have joined the ranks of those close to offering the Death with Dignity option to their residents:
- In an overwhelming vote last week, Colorado voters passed the End of Life Options Act by a 65 to 35 percent margin, by far the biggest margin of any state where the law has been approved. The law will likely go into effect in early 2017.
- And today, the Council of the District of Columbia approved, on final passage, its own Death with Dignity law. The overwhelming 11 to 2 vote now sends the bill to Mayor Bowser.
We are cautiously optimistic the D.C. bill will become law: 67 percent of District residents support the legislation; the Council vote yielded a veto-proof majority; in part thanks to our prompting, dozens of D.C. residents have been calling the Mayor’s office to urge her to approve the bill; and the Colorado vote has reverberated across the nation, sending the message that Americans want this option.
2016: A Big Year in the Movement
It is clear that 2016 has been one of remarkable success for the Death with Dignity National Center and our allies across the country. California’s law was implemented in June, and now the approval of laws in D.C. and Colorado add millions more citizens who now have the peace of mind knowing they will not have to suffer needlessly at the end of life.
Your contributions have been instrumental in all of these successes. And we hope in the year’s waning days you can help again as we prepare for a new round of states considering legislation in 2017.
Looking Toward 2017
We’re already well underway in drafting legislation and laying the groundwork in Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, and a host of other states where like-minded legislators are introducing bills to allow death with dignity in their states.
In a few weeks we’ll be meeting with legislators across the country as we continue to work on developing model legislation they can take to their states. This work is critical to ensuring these legislators have the base of knowledge and the resources they need to successfully pass legislation in their states.
Our job: to make sure we provide the tools, the bills, the data and the messages legislators need to bring these bills to fruition in their states. You might not always see us in the news, but know that behind the scenes, we are the ones legislators turn to when they need help.
With your help, we can continue that work and bring new laws to even more states in 2017. Thank you for your continued commitment to expanding end-of-life options for terminally ill Americans.
Featured image by BeyondDC.