2016: A Year to Defeat Physician Assisted Suicide Legislation

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As spring begins and many legislative sessions across the country come to an end (including Maryland’s in the coming weeks) we thought it would be interesting to see how proposed physician assisted suicide legislation fared in other states this year.

According to one of the bill’s lead proponents, the Death with Dignity National Center, bills similar to what was filed in Maryland this year were filed in 15 other states across the country. This group claimed momentum was on their side after the California Legislature acted behind closed doors to quietly pass a similar bill in 2015. However, what we’ve known all along continues to prove true: legislators have serious concerns about these bills and continue to oppose passage of Oregon-style “Death with dignity” laws.

So far this year, similar bills were proposed and defeated in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Utah, and Wisconsin. Additionally, while it’s not final it looks like PAS bills will be soon defeated in Alaska, Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee. For those counting at home, that’s 13 out of 16 bills that are already defeated in 2016 – and it’s only March!

If there is any momentum in this debate, it’s on the side of opponents like us who continue to educate legislators about all the major issues with these bills.

But there is no gloating here. We know the proponents are relentless and will stop at nothing to try and pass this dangerous legislation across the country. We look forward to our continued work together to stop this bill in Maryland.

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