An aid in dying bill for New Hampshire did not advance in the 2020 legislation session. A House Committee referred HB 1659, the New Hampshire Death with Dignity Act, for further study.
Write your NH State Legislators in support of aid in dying
A New Hampshire House Committee has referred a death with dignity bill for further study. Modeled on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, an aid in dying bill would allow qualified adult residents of New Hampshire with a terminal illness 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 on January 8, 2020
- Title: New Hampshire Death with Dignity Act
- Full text of HB 1659, the New Hampshire Death with Dignity Act
- Legislative history of HB 1659
- Sponsors: New Hampshire State Representative Catt Sandler (D-Strafford 21) – primary, Christy Bartlett (D), Gerri Cannon (D), Sherry Frost (D), George Saunderson (D), Matthew Towne (D), Kenneth Vincent (D), Gary Woods (D), and Senator Martha Hennessey (D)
- Referred to House Judiciary Committee
- Heard on February 12
- Referred for interim study on March 4
We are working with New Hampshire Death with Dignity, supporting their efforts to pass aid in dying legislation in New Hampshire.
As in several previous legislative sessions, in 2019 legislators in the General Court of New Hampshire introduced a bill, HB 291, establishing a committee to study end-of-life options. The bill was heard in the House Judiciary Committee on January 22, 2019; on March 6, 2019 the Committee passed an amended version of the bill 12 to 8. On March 14, the full House passed the original bill 214 to 140. The bill moved to the Senate where an amended version passed out of Judiciary Committee; it then passed in the full Senate 18 to 6 on May 15 and an amended version 21 to 2 on May 23. The House non-concurred with the Senate version on June 13.
Legislative proposals that would establish a committee to study end-of-life options date back to 2015.
- 2018: SB 490, sponsored by Senator Hennessey, was voted down in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee 12 to 10.
- 2016: SB 426 passed out of the Senate and the House Judiciary Committees, and the full House voted it down on May 11.
- 2015: The legislature approved and Governor Hassan vetoed HB 151, sponsored by Representative Phillips.
Prior to 2020, the most recent aid in dying bill in New Hampshire was considered in the General Court in 2014.
- 2014: HB 1325, an aid in dying bill, did not come up for a vote in the House of Representatives Health Committee.
- 2011: New Hampshire State Representatives Weed (D), Parkhurst (D), and Vaillancourt (R) sponsored HB 513, a physician assisted dying bill, which was voted down in the House 234 to 99 (65 representatives did not vote).
- 2010: HB 304, a medical aid-in-dying bill, sponsored by Representatives Weed, Richardson, Watrous, and Mitchell, was voted down in the House Judiciary Committee.
Three attempts to pass physician-assisted dying legislation also took place in the 1990’s as Oregon voters passed the nation’s first death with dignity law: