Bill Alert: Physician-Assisted Suicide Legislation Filed
It is official: Maryland lawmakers have once again filed legislation that would legalize the dangerous practice of physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The bill, SB.845, is the same piece of legislation that has been rejected by bi-partisan opposition each year they have been introduced. Although a bill has not been filed in the House yet, we expect one to appear before the filing deadline on Friday.
The PAS bill filed in Maryland this year is just as flawed as it always has been. If legalized, PAS would endanger all vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, opening the door for abuse and coercion. It would allow Maryland doctors to prescribe a lethal drug overdose to patients deemed to be terminally ill with less than six months to live.
PAS has been branded as a compassionate way to give terminally ill patients dignity by choosing death, but the range of negative impacts on patients and their families show that the opposite is true. This would be a dangerous avenue for manifesting the existing disparities in our health care system.
As we have said for years, and will continue to make known this year, there are no safeguards that can truly protect against the coercion and abuse of vulnerable populations. There is no legislative solution to the fact that doctors cannot accurately predict a 6-month terminal diagnosis. There is no way to cover up in legislation that patients in states where this is legal are requesting the lethal drugs because they feel like they are a burden on their family, not because they are in pain.
Thank you for your response to this critical call to action! We will continue to be in touch regarding the House bill and with further steps to help, but if you would like to get involved more right away, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide