The following letter was sent to Delegate Shane Pendergrass on February 14, 2019 by Anthony G. Brown in support of the End-of-Life Option Act/Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer Act. A text and PDF version have been provided.
Delegate Shane Pendergrass
Chair, Health and Government Operations Committee House Office Building, Room 241
6 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
Dear Chairwoman Pendergrass,
I am writing in support of the passage of the HB399/SB311, the End of Life Option Act, also known as the Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer Act. This legislation has been carefully written to provide terminally ill patients considering all their end of life options with the right to end their agony and suffering and choose the timing of their death, while protecting potentially vulnerable populations.
Decisions around end of life are deeply personal for patients and their families. While the overwhelming majority choose palliative care or hospice, only the person confronting their own mortality can decide if their pain is truly unbearable. This bill provides the dying person with the decision-making power to decide when and how they die. The End of Life Option Act adopts a thoughtful and deliberate multiple-step approach that empowers the patient, includes multiple medical professionals, and safeguards vulnerable Marylanders.
This debate around this difficult issue understandably is passionate, but it is important we make decisions based on facts and evidence. The experience from other states demonstrates how Maryland can implement this option in a safe and effective manner, and prevent abuse and coercion. I believe that patients suffering from painful terminal conditions want and deserve the choice to direct their own care. I encourage the Committee to advance this legislation.
Anthony G. BrownLetter to Shane Pendergrass