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Minnesota

Current Status

Minnesota State Senators Chris Eaton (D-Brooklyn Center), Matt Klein (DFL-District 52), John Marty (DFL-District 66), D. Scott Dibble (DFL-District 61), and Ron Latz (DFL-Distrct 46) introduced SF 1572, Minnesota End-of-Life Option Act of 2017, on February 27, 2017. The bill was referred to the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.

The companion bill in the Minnesota State House, HF 1885, is sponsored by Representative Mike Freiberg (D-Hopkins) and 19 co-sponsors, and has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services Reform. According to media reports, Senator Eaton “has not asked for a committee hearing on her bill and does not expect to get one.”

Meanwhile, a September 2016 Greenberge Quinlan Rosner Research poll found that 73 percent of Minnesotans support “medical aid in dying,” with 55 percent favoring the end-of-life option strongly.

History

In 2015, Senators Eaton, Sandra Pappas, D. Scott Dibble, and John Marty sponsored SF 1880, Minnesota Compassionate Care Act; a group of 17 Representatives introduced a companion bill in the state House (HF 2095). The bill received a discussion-only hearing (recording here and here), with no legislative action taken. Because the Minnesota legislature is on a biennium, the bill was carried over to 2016. A hearing in the Senate Health, Human Services, and Housing Committee took place place on March 16, 2016 (recording here and here). Sen. Eaton withdrew the bill from consideration before a vote could take place due to insufficient support.

The 2015-2016 session was the first time a Death with Dignity bill was considered in the Minnesota legislature.

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