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Posted on June 1, 2020 at 11:27 AM

On Friday afternoon, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health approved legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying as an end-of-life care option. This is the first time the committee approved such legislation since it was originally introduced
in 2011.

The Massachusetts End of Life Options
Act (
H.1926 / S.1208), would give mentally capable, terminally ill individuals
with a prognosis of six months or less to live the option to request, obtain
and self-ingest medication to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering
becomes unbearable.
“I can’t tell you how much this historic vote means
to me after spending the last five years advocating for this peaceful dying
option on behalf of all terminally ill patients, my friends and family and on
my own behalf,” said Dr. Roger Kligler, a retired physician in Falmouth with
incurable prostate cancer, who has repeatedly testified in support of the End
of Life Options Act before the Joint Committee on Public Health. 
(HT: C&C)
The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) also
testified at the hearing last June before the Joint Committee of Public Health
on the bill, detailing its policy of “neutral engagement” on the practice of
medical aid in dying: “The MMS will support its members regarding clinical,
ethical, and legal considerations of medical aid-in-dying, through education,
advocacy, and/or the provision of other resources…”

Medical aid in dying is authorized in 10 U.S.
jurisdictions representing more than one-fifth (22%) of the nation’s
population, including nine states: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey,
Maine, and Washington, D.C. 

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