Maine State Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec/Augusta) introduced SP 113 / LD 347, An Act to Support Death with Dignity, on February 2, 2017. Co-sponsors include
- Maine State Senators Brownie Carson (D-Cumberland), Geoff Gratwick (D-Penobscot), Dawn Hill (D-York), Dave Miramant (D-Knox), and Kimberley Rosen (R-Hancock)
- Maine State Representatives Denise Harlow (D-Portland), Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor), Patricia Hymanson (D-York), Eric Jorgensen, (D-Portland), and Stephen Wood (R-Greene).
Maine State Representative Jennifer Parker introduced HP 749 / LD 1066, An Act to Support Life with Dignity, which is nearly identical to SP 113 / LD 347, on March 16, 2017.
Both bills were heard at a joint hearing of the Committee Health and Human Services Committee on April 5, 2017. In the work session on April 19, 2017, the Committee voted 5 to 8 against the bill, with the recommendation “Ought Not to Pass” (6 of the 8 “ought not to pass votes” were Republican Representatives and Senators endorsed by the Christian Civic League of Maine).
Meanwhile, a Public Policy Polling survey we commissioned shows that 73 percent of Mainers support Death with Dignity legislation. Learn more →
There have been multiple attempts to pass physician-assisted dying legislation in Maine. The first came after Oregon pass the Death with Dignity Act:
- HB 552 in 1995
- LD 916 in 1996
- HB 663 in 1997
- IB 3/IB 10 in 1999
A 1998 survey of Maine voters found that 63 percent of respondents favored physician-assisted dying.
In 2000, our predecessor organization sponsored Question 1, a ballot initiative proposal closely modeled after the Oregon law, seeking to legalize physician-assisted dying. The initiative was narrowly defeated 51 to 49 percent, with only a 6,000 vote difference statewide.
In 2013, a physician-assisted dying bill with a broader scope than the Oregon model, LD 1065, was considered and rejected in the legislature.
In April 2015 Representatives Bobbi Beavers (D-South Berwick), Richard Campbell (R-Orrington), Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford), Denise Harlow (D-Portland), Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor), Eric Jorgensen, (D-Portland), Diane Russell (D-Portland), Stephen Wood (R-Greene), as well as Senators Roger Katz (R-Kennebec/Augusta) and Dawn Hill (D-York) cross-filed SP 452 / LD 1270, An Act Regarding Patient-directed Care at the End of Life. The Joint Committee on Health and Human Services recommended that the bill ought not to pass 7 to 6 at working sessions on May 22 and May 29. On June 15 the Maine House approved the bill 76-70, while the Senate voted 18-17 against the bill on June 15 and 16.
We are working with our local partner It’s My Death on promoting Death with Dignity in Maine.
- Full text of SP 113 / LD 347
- LD 347 bill history
- Full text of HP 749 / LD 1066
- LD 1066 bill history
- Our testimony in support of LD 347 and LD 1066 at the April 5, 2017 hearing
- Our articles about Maine (includes media roundups with news stories from Maine)
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