Boston Globe Joins Other State Newspapers in Endorsing End of Life Options Act
The Boston Globe published a timely editorial on Sunday endorsing the Massachusetts End of Life Option Act that would give mentally capable, terminally ill state residents the option of medical aid in dying to peacefully end their suffering if it becomes unbearable. The editorial is opportune because lawmakers must pass this compassionate legislation before the end of its 2020 legislative session or the bill would have to be reintroduced in 2021, leaving terminally ill state residents at risk of dying with needless suffering.
Below is an excerpt of the editorial.
The Boston Globe, “Massachusetts’ terminally ill patients should have access to medical aid-in-dying,” Dec. 6, 2020
“At the end of life, people should be able to choose dignity and less pain … Eight years ago, Massachusetts voters defeated a proposal to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives on their own terms, as opposed to in the excruciating pain and indignity that can mark their last days … A bill to legalize the practice is now before the Committee on Health Care Financing … the bill deserves passage … [T]he fact is that much has changed since 2012. The Massachusetts Medical Society, which then led the fight against aid-in-dying on ethical grounds, has shifted its stance on the issue; it is now officially neutral. The proposal itself is also different, adding a requirement that patients undergo a mental health evaluation. And social attitudes appear to be shifting: Nearly 7 out of 10 Massachusetts residents are in favor of medical aid-in-dying, according to a Boston Globe-Suffolk University poll last year.”
The editorial was published one week after the Globe published a nearly 3,000-word story profiling terminally ill residents of Oregon and Washington who received prescriptions for medical aid in dying.
It also comes less than one month after nearly 200 people participated in Compassion & Choices’ Zoom rally on Nov. 9 urging Massachusetts lawmakers to pass the End of Life Options Act before they recess for the year (watch two-minute video highlights of the Zoom rally here).
Two other Massachusetts newspapers have endorsed the bill since the Covid-19 crisis reached the pandemic stage. The excerpts of both editorials are below.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette, “Editorial: Time to act on ‘death with dignity’ bill,” May 28, 2020
“For some, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought end-of-life issues into renewed focus … As we’ve editorialized on these pages several times over the years, the time to pass this bill [the End of Life Options Act] is overdue … Lawmakers must advance it.”
The Berkshire Eagle editorial, “Our Opinion: Time has come for End of Life Options Act,” May 21, 2020
“…with COVID-19…prompting a renewed focus on end-of-life issues, we believe that this will be the time the legislation [the End of Life Options Act] becomes law …”
Please utilize the resources above to urge Massachusetts lawmakers to advance the bill without delay!