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06/22/2018

Senate Appropriations Committee Praised for Leaving D.C. Death with Dignity Act Intact

Compassion & Choices praised the Senate Appropriations Committee for
approving a government funding bill on Thursday afternoon without a policy
rider approved by the House Appropriations Committee last week that would
repeal the D.C. Death with Dignity Act. However, the bill text was not posted
online until this morning.
The House policy rider is part of the House
Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for fiscal year
2019 that starts on Oct. 1, 2018 (see bill summary at 
bit.ly/HseAppBillSumm). The Senate version of the same bill (S.3107)
approved by Senate Appropriations Committee excluded the House policy rider
(see bill text at 
bit.ly/SenAppBill).

The D.C.
Death with Dignity Act
 gives
mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the
option to get prescription medication they can take to end unbearable suffering
and die peacefully in their sleep.
Congressional opponents of medical aid in
dying tried to repeal the law in 
February
2017 during a 30-legislative-day review period
 and during last
year’s appropriations process
but they failed both
times.
“We thank the entire Senate Appropriations
Committee for recognizing the autonomy of D.C. lawmakers and their constituents
who support medical aid in dying by an overwhelming margin,” said Kim Callinan,
CEO for Compassion & Choices, which led the campaign to pass the D.C. Death
with Dignity Act. “We cannot allow this power grab to succeed or it will
encourage our opponents to try to ban medical aid in dying nationwide.”
The
D.C. Council approved the Death with Dignity Act on Nov. 15, 2016
, by a veto-proof 11–2 margin and the law
went into effect on February 18, 2017
Polling shows two-thirds of D.C. residents (67%)
support medical aid in dying. 
In
addition to the District of Columbia, medical aid
in dying has been authorized in seven states: California,
Colorado, Hawai‘i, Montana, Oregon, Vermont,
 and Washington. Collectively,
these eight jurisdictions represent nearly one out of five Americans (19%) and
have 40 years of combined experience safely using this end-of-life care option.
“Public opinion is strongly on our side,”
said Callinan. 
“We ask Members of
Congress from the seven states that have authorized medical aid in dying to
make sure that DC residents are allowed to access the same peaceful end-of-life
care option that is available to their constituents.” 
Medscape
online survey
 shows 7,500
doctors nationwide from 25 medical specialties nationwide support medical aid
in dying by nearly a 2–1 margin (57% to 29%).

National
and state 
polls
show a majority of Americans across the ethnic, political and religious
spectrum support medical aid in dying
. This majority includes African Americans, Asian Americans,
Latinos, conservatives, Democrats/Democratic-leaning independents, liberals,
moderates, Republicans/Republican-leaning independents, Catholics, Christians,
Protestants, people of other faiths, and people living with disabilities.

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

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