Despite unprecedented momentum to pass the Maryland End of Life Option Act, after pausing the 2020 legislative session due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Maryland legislature adjourned for the session without taking action on the bill. Now, our sights are set on passing a bill in 2021.

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 is 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. Rep./former Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Cummings, and Compassion & Choices’ terminally ill volunteer Marcy Rubin. We honor their legacy and say the time is now to pass this bill.

The event enabled Maryland Campaign Director Donna Smith and her colleagues to speak directly to Governor Larry Hogan, Senate President Nominee Bill Ferguson and Speaker Adrienne Jones about the urgency to pass this bill.

Compassion & Choices continues to build grassroots support for medical aid-in-dying in Maryland. You can help! As a volunteer with Compassion & Choices, you’ll join thousands of dedicated supporters who want to transform the medical systems in this country and give people the options they want and deserve to chart their own end-of-life journey. Compassion & Choices is dedicated to improving care and expanding options for the end of life. Volunteers work diligently to build grassroots support for end-of-life liberty.

Action teams are a critical part of Compassion & Choices. Maryland has action teams in Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. They bring together and train other volunteers in their area to coordinate outreach efforts to local officials, and educate communities and health professionals. They are advancing municipal resolutions hosting educational forums, meeting with religious leaders, and deepening support in the medical and hospice communities. If you’re interested in starting an action team in your area, please click here.

 

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