(Boston, MA, Thursday, November 19, 2020) – COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of life, the tragedy of loved ones dying alone in agony, in a hospital or nursing home, without the care and comfort of loved ones.
That’s why it’s urgent for Massachusetts lawmakers to pass the End of Life Options Act in 2020.
This compassionate bill would give terminally ill state residents the option to get prescription medication they could take to die peacefully, at home, surrounded by their loved ones.
On November 9, sponsors and supporters of the End of Life Options Act held a 90-minute Zoom rally with nearly 200 participants to urge Massachusetts lawmakers to utilize their post-election session to pass the End of Life Option Act before they adjourn this year.
According to a Boston Globe-Suffolk University poll published in September, 70 percent of Massachusetts residents support the End of Life Options Act, including a majority of people across the gender, geographic, age and racial spectrum.
In addition, a 2017 internal survey of Massachusetts Medical Society showed doctors statewide support the End of Life Options Act by more than a 2-1 margin: 62 to 28 percent.
The End of Life Options Act has 88 cosponsors out of 200 state legislators, including Rep. Louis L. Kafka (D-Norfolk), and Senate President Pro Tempore Will Brownsberger (D-Middlesex).
The Joint Committee on Public Health approved the End of Life Options Act (S. 2745/H. 4782) in June for consideration by the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing for the first time since the original legislation was introduced by Rep. Kafka in 2011.
After nine years of debate, it’s time for lawmakers to pass the bill and for Gov. Baker to sign it.
Nine states have authorized medical aid in dying since 1997: California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, as well as Washington, D.C. Collectively, they have 40+ years of collective experience with this end-of-life care option with not one case of misuse. Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand options for the end of life. For more info, visit CompassionAndChoices.org/Massachusetts.