Bill Summary: Minnesota End-of-Life Options Act, SF 1352 and HF 1358

Both of these bills allow: 

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

The bills are modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has been in practice for 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 

  • Resident of Minnesota 

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


Key Provisions

  • The individual must self-administer the medication. Self-administration does not include administration by intravenous or other parenteral injection or infusion by any person, including the doctor, family member or patient themselves.

  • Patients are able to access medical aid in dying from healthcare providers licensed in Minnesota to provide similar medical care, including a doctor of medicine, a doctor of osteopathy, and advanced practice registered nurses. 

  • The attending healthcare provider must inform terminally ill adults requesting medical aid in dying about other end-of-life care options including comfort care, hospice care and pain control.

  • Two health care providers must confirm that the person is terminally ill with a prognosis of six months or less to live, mentally capable and not being coerced. 

  • 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. 

  • There is a mandatory mental health evaluation 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.    

  • Healthcare providers 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.  

  • Health insurers may not deny or alter healthcare benefits available to terminally ill individuals based on the availability of medical aid in dying or otherwise attempt to coerce a person with a terminal illness to make a request for aid-in-dying medication.

  • Life insurance payments can’t be denied to the families of those who use the law.

  • No physician, health provider or pharmacist is required to participate. Healthcare providers and facilities that choose not to participate in the process of medical aid in dying must disclose their policy.

  • The underlying illness — not medical aid in dying — will be listed as the cause of death on the death certificate.  

  • Unused medication must be disposed of according to the guidelines specified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Additional Regulatory Requirements

  • The individual must make one oral and one written request to the attending healthcare provider and one oral request to the consulting healthcare provider.

  • The attending healthcare provider 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:

Sponsors:

  • Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (HF 1358) 

  • Sen. Chris Eaton  (SF 1252) 

  • Sen.  John Marty  (SF 1352) 

  • Sen. Erin Murphy (SF 1352) 

  • Sen. Matt Klein (SF 1352) 

  • Sen. Jennifer McEwen (SF 1352) 

  • Rep. Mike Freiberg (HF 1358)

  • Rep. Heather Edelson (HF 1358)

  • Rep. Kaohly Her (HF 1358) 

  • Rep. Athena Hollins (HF 1358) 

  • Rep. Kelly Morrison (HF 1358)

  • Rep. Fue Lee (HF 1358)

  • Rep. Liz Olson (HF 1358)

  • Rep. Robert Bierman (HF 1358)

  • Rep. Kaela Berg (HF 1358) 

  • Rep. Steve Elkins (HF 1358) 

  • Rep. Cheryl Youakim (HF1358)

  • Rep. Todd Lippert (HF 1358)

  • Rep. Jamie Long (HF 1358) 

  • Rep. Steve Sandell (HF 1358) 

  • Rep. Cedrick Frazier (HF 1358)
  • Rep. Liz Reyer (HF 1358)

Legislation: 

For More Information:

Rebecca Thoman, M.D.

Minnesota Campaign Manager at Compassion & Choices

[email protected]