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Developments in Massachusetts

A bill that would give the terminally ill the option of ending their own lives medically is making its way through the Massachusetts legislature. The bill, titled “An Act relative to end of life options,” was recommended for acceptance by the joint committee on Public Health on June 8th. 

Peaceful death for terminally ill

Just as the acts that already exist in Oregon, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington, this bill offers the terminally ill the option of physician-assisted death through pharmaceuticals. 
A terminally ill patient may voluntarily make an oral request for aid in dying and a prescription for medication that the patient can choose to self-administer to bring about a peaceful death if the patient 1) is a capable adult; 2) is a resident of Massachusetts; and (3) has been determined by the patient’s attending physician to be terminally ill. 

What happened before
This senate bill, S.2745, is the amended version of a previous senate bill, S.1208, which originated from January 2019. This senate bill was by then accompanied by house bill H.1926
The new senate bill is accompanied by house bill H.4782

What’s next?

The joint committee on Public Health referred the bill to the committee on Health Care Financing. On June 22th, the reporting date was extended to the end this year: Thursday December 31.