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Legislative Activity on Aid in Dying Ramps Up Around the U.S.

February 14, 2020

In the first two weeks of February 2020:

  • Iowa lawmakers introduced a death with dignity bill;
  • The New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HB 1659, the Death with Dignity Act;
  • Advocates and newspaper editorial boards across the country voiced support for aid in dying.

Iowa

For the third time in four years, Iowa legislators are considering a death with dignity bill. Advocates like cancer survivor Luanna Rashenberger support its passage. “I believe that no one else should get to decide for a terminally ill person how much pain they must endure,” Rashenberger said. “I urge Iowa lawmakers to touch their hearts and to make medical aid in dying available to its terminally ill residents so that Iowans are not forced to suffer needlessly.

Maryland

As Maryland lawmakers and advocates prepare for a February 28 hearing on the End-of-Life Options Act, the Frederick News-Post published an op-ed supporting the bill, in addition to reader letters advocating for passage of the proposed law. “Under the proposed law, the terminally ill patient is solely in charge of this most personal and basic decision. That is as it must be,” the News-Post editorial board wrote. “We support the option of death with dignity, the power to end a life in peace.”

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, a priority state for us this legislative session, advocates continue to make their voices heard in newspapers across the state.

New Hampshire

Advocates and a number of legislators in New Hampshire hope to join their neighbors in Maine and Vermont in passing an aid-in-dying law. We testified at last week’s hearing on HB 1659, the Death with Dignity Act, and continue to support our friends at New Hampshire Death with Dignity as they advocate for policy reform.

Around the U.S.

Connecticut: Lawmakers appear to favor revival of aid in dying,” CT Mirror, 2/14/2020

Hawaii: “Column: Give nurses role in medical aid in dying,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 2/12/2020

Illinois: “Evanston City Council Weighing Whether to Call for ‘Dying with Dignity’ legislation,” CBS Chicago, 2/10/2020

Utah: “Dalley: Utahns Deserve Humane End-of-Life Care,” Daily Utah Chronicle, 2/1/2020

NOTE: Death with Dignity does not support the use of inaccurate terminology like “assisted suicide” to describe death with dignity. Read more in our “Terminology of Assisted Dying” resource.

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