The Connecticut state legislature is again considering a death with dignity bill in 2020.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Connecticut legislature postponed all of its hearings, and the bill will likely not advance.
Write your State Representative and Senator to urge their support for the bill
HB 5420, the Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients Act, is under consideration in the Connecticut legislature. Modeled on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, such legislation would allow qualified, terminally-ill adult residents of Connecticut to legally obtain a prescription from their physician for medications to end their life peacefully, in a dignified way, at the place and time of their choosing.
- Introduced March 2, 2020
- Full text of HB 5420
- Legislative history of HB 5420
- Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health
The Connecticut Medical Society (CSMS) in February 2019 changed its position on aid-in-dying legislation from opposed to that of engaged neutrality.
The CSMS is committed to protecting its members’ freedom to decide what medical aid-in-dying options to provide to patients in accordance with each physician’s personally held values, beliefs and ethical standards, including the decision whether or not to write a prescription for a lethal dose of medication, if legalized in Connecticut.
A death with dignity bill did not come up for a vote in committee and did not advance.
- Full text of HB 5898 (2019)
- Legislative history of HB 5898
- Introduced on January 23, 2019
- Sponsor: Connecticut State Representative Jonathan Steinbert (D-Westport)
- Referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health
- Heard in Committee on March 18
- At both March 29 and April 1 Committee hearings, the bill was held (not put up for a vote), which effectively ended its progress this session.
HB 5417, An Act Concerning End-of-Life Care did not advance out of committee.
- Introduced on March 2, 2018.
- Sponsors: Connecticut State Representatives Michael D’Agostino, Josh Elliott, Andrew M. Fleischmann, Joseph P. Gresko, John “Jack” F. Hennessy
- Referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health.
- Heard in Committee on March 20, 2018.
- The bill did not come up for a vote.
The first attempts to pass physician-assisted dying bills in Connecticut took place in 1995 (HB 6928, SB 334) and 1997 (HB 6083), at the time Oregon was considering its own Death with Dignity Act.
After Washington passed the second Death with Dignity statute in the nation, the issue returned to the Connecticut legislature in 2009 (SB 1138).
Bills considered in the subsequent years received Committee hearings but were not put up for a vote:
- 2017: Connecticut State Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D-136th District) introduced HB 6024, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients, on January 19, 2017, with Representative Josh Elliott (D-88th District) co-sponsoring. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health.
- 2015: HB 7015, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients, sponsored by 3 Senators and 13 Representatives
- 2014: HB 5326, An Act Concerning Compassionate Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients, sponsored by Representative Betsy Ritter; its companion bill was sponsored by Senator Edward Meyer
- 2013: HB 6217, An Act Concerning Death with Dignity, and SB 48, An Act Concerning Physician-Assisted Suicide