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:

  • Sen. Chris Eaton (SF 1352)
  • Sen. John Marty (SF 1352) 
  • Rep. Mike Freiberg (HF 1358)
  • Rep. Heather Edelson (HF 1358)
  • Rep. Kelly Morrison (HF 1358)
  • Rep. Fue Lee (HF 1358)
  • Rep. Robert Bierman (HF 1358)

Legislation:

SF 1352 

HF 1358