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 take medication — should they choose —  to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable. 

The bill is modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has been in practice for more than 20 years without a single instance of abuse or coercion.

Eligibility Criteria

Just like the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, to be eligible, a person must be:

  • An adult, aged 18 or older
  • Terminally ill with a prognosis of 6 months or less to live
  • Mentally capable and making an informed healthcare decision 

Individuals are not eligible for medical aid in dying because of age or disability. 

Key Provisions

  • The individual must be able to self-administer the medication. Self-administration does not include administration by intravenous (IV) injection or infusion by a physician or any other person.
  • Two physicians must confirm that the person is terminally ill with a prognosis of six months or less to live, mentally capable,not being coerced, and is making an informed decision. 
  • A terminally ill person can withdraw their request for medication, not take the medication once they have it or otherwise change their mind at any point. 
  • The attending physician must inform the requesting individual about all of their end-of-life care options, including but not limited to hospice and pain control. 
  • There is a mandatory referral for counseling if either healthcare provider has concerns about the patient’s capacity to make an informed health care decision; the prescription can’t be written until the mental health provider confirms capacity.    
  • Physicians who participate and comply with all aspects of the law are given civil and criminal immunity. 
  • Anyone attempting to coerce a patient will face criminal prosecution.  
  • Life insurance payments can’t be denied to the beneficiaries of those who use the law.
  • No physician, health provider or pharmacist is required to participate.

Additional Regulatory Requirements

  • The individual must make both an oral and written request for the medication, and must reiterate the oral request to the attending physician not less than 15 days after making the initial oral request. 
  • Two people must witness the written request, one of whom can’t be a relative or someone who stands to benefit from the person’s estate.  
  • Prescribing physicians must comply with medical-record documentation requirements and make records available to the state department of health.
  • The state department of health is required to issue a publicly available annual report. Identifying information about individual patients and doctors is kept confidential. 

Additional Information About the Bill:

Primary Sponsor:

  • Rep. Gartner (Democrat)