Compassion & Choices kicked off the 2020 campaign to pass the Maryland Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End of Life Option Act by sponsoring the Annapolis Summit to mark the opening day of the legislative session on Jan. 8, 2020.
Compassion & Choices held a hugely successful lobby day on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 in Annapolis. Over 185 supporters and 15 bill sponsors in yellow t-shirts walked the halls of Annapolis urging their legislators to pass the End of Life Option Act chanting, “The Time is NOW!”
On February 28, 2020, the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard the End of Life Option Act. Kim Callinan testified alongside Rev. Joseph Kitchen, Dr. Ilana Bav Levav, MD and terminally ill advocates Alexa Fraser and Debra Cirasole, with many many more Compassion & Choices supporters.
There was unprecedented momentum to pass these bills, with changing leadership in the House and Senate and unparalleled support from people like you. Sadly, three bill champions died in 2019: Speaker Michael E. Busch, U.S. Representative/former Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Cummings, and Compassion & Choices’ terminally ill volunteer Marcy Rubin. We continue to honor their legacy and say the time is now to pass this bill.
The Maryland Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End of Life Option Act was reintroduced in the state House and Senate on January 30, 2019. On January 29, Compassion & Choices held a successful Lobby Day with over 150 attendees donning our signature yellow. Our supporters, volunteers and staff canvassed the halls of the legislative services building, spoke to their representatives and garnered support for the bill.
On March 7, 2019, the Maryland Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End-of-Life Option Act (SB311/HB399) passed a full House vote (74-66). The bill moved to the Senate where it failed to pass in a tie vote on March 25.
Maryland Delegate Pendergrass, along with 44 cosponsors, introduced House Bill 370, the Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End-of-Life option Act, on January 25, 2017. Senator Guy Guzzone with 13 cosponsors introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 354. Senator Guzzone decided to withdraw the bill on March 3, 2017, because there was not enough support to get it out of committee.
The 2016 campaign for medical aid in dying in Maryland demonstrated a surge of support for expanded end-of-life options. As lawmakers considered the Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End-of-Life Option Act (HB0404 and SB0418), Compassion & Choices supporters, joined by a broad, diverse array of backers, met with lawmakers, testified, rallied and made their views known. Over 100 supporters showed up to Lobby Day, and seven media outlets covered that day of events.
The Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End-of-Life Option Act was first introduced in the 2015 session by Delegate Shane Pendergrass in the Health and Government Operations Committee (HGO) and in the Judiciary Committee by Senator Ron Young. Despite getting a record number of cosponsors (52 in 2015), the bill did not come up for a vote.