Florida Bill Summary

Florida’s End of Life Options Act HB 561 and SB 1642

The Legislation Allows:

A terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live the option to request, obtain and ingest medication — should they choose —  to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.

The bill is modeled after laws in authorized jurisdictions and the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has been in practice for more than 25 years without a single instance of abuse or coercion.

The bills include the following core safeguards:

  • A terminal illness and six-month prognosis must be confirmed by two doctors. Individuals are not eligible for medical aid in dying because of age or disability.
  • The attending physician must inform the requesting individual about all of their end-of-life care options, including hospice care, palliative care, and pain control.
  • The terminally ill individual can withdraw their request for medication, not take the medication once they have it, or otherwise change their mind at any point.
  • The individual must be able to self-ingest the medication.

The Act also includes the following regulatory and procedural requirements:

  • The individual must make two separate oral requests for the medication, with a 15-day waiting period between them.
  • A written request is also required. The written request must be witnessed by two people, one of whom cannot be a relative or someone who stands to benefit from the person’s estate.
  • There is a mandatory mental health evaluation by a licensed mental health provider if either healthcare provider has concerns about the individual’s capacity to make an informed healthcare decision; medication cannot be prescribed until the individual’s healthcare decision-making is assessed.
  • Prescribing providers must comply with medical-record documentation requirements and make records available to the Florida Department of Public Health.
  • Anyone attempting to coerce an eligible individual is subject to criminal penalties.
  • Life insurance payments cannot be denied to the families of those who use the law.
  • No physician, health provider or pharmacist is required to participate.
  • Unused medication must be disposed of by lawful means.
  • The Florida Department of Public Health is required to issue a publicly available annual report. Identifying information about individual patients and doctors is kept confidential.
  • The underlying illness — not medical aid in dying — will be listed as the cause of death on the death certificate.

Additional Information About the Bill:

Legislation and Sponsors

  • HB 561 - Rep. Daryl Campbel
  • SB 1642 - Sen. Victor M. Torres, Jr.

For More Information

Nicole Reyes-Palma
Regional Advocacy & Development Manager – SE
[email protected]

Daisy Orihuela
Campaign Organizer
[email protected]

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