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Posted on May 2, 2018 at 5:30 PM
Compassion &
Choices praised Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for her vow today to
prevent congressional opponents of Washington, D.C.’s Death with Dignity
Act from repealing the law this year, as she did last year. 
The DCDWDA gives
mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the
option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to
die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup
(Ohio), who authored a House
concurrent resolution
 condemning medical aid in dying in 2017, said
two weeks ago
: “we were unable to put language repealing the D.C…law in to
recent spending legislation, but I am hopeful that we will be able to do so in
next year’s legislation [for fiscal year 2019 that starts Oct. 1, 2018].”
Last year, the U.S.
House of Representatives
 passed an appropriations
bill, H.R. 3354
, with an amendment
by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (
Md.) to
repeal D.C.’s Death with Dignity Act. Rep. Norton led the fight to keep the
amendment out of the final spending bill Congress passed and President Trump signed in March to fund
the government through the close of fiscal year 2018 that ends September 30.
“Members of Congress
who oppose medical aid in dying like Reps. Wenstrup and Harris should stop
treating the District of Columbia as their personal petri dish and respect the
autonomy of D.C. residents and their elected officials,” said Compassion &
Choices CEO Kim Callinan. “We will continue working with Rep. Norton to defeat
these cruel, relentless attacks on D.C.’s medical aid-in-dying law that cause
terminally ill D.C. residents to worry they will lose this option to peacefully
end their suffering.” 
“Reps. Wenstrup and
Harris are doctors, so they should know better than to intervene between other
physicians and their patients who recognize medical aid in dying as a
legitimate palliative care option to relief intolerable suffering,” said Dr.
Omega Silva, 
an 81-year-old retired physician living in
Washington, D.C. with three cancer diagnoses
. “They are wrong
ethically to impose their personal values on other doctors and patients and to
impede terminally ill D.C. residents from even considering this option.”

A fall 2016 Medscape
online survey
 of 7,500 doctors nationwide representing
25 medical specialties showed they supported medical aid in dying by a 2-1
margin (57% to 29%).

Compassion & Choices
is the oldest, largest and most active nonprofit working to improve care and
expand options for the end of life in the United States, with 450,000 members
nationwide. For more information, visit:

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