Group Urges Senators from States Where Medical Aid in Dying Is Authorized to Reject Gorsuch

April 3, 2017
Kevin Diaz, National Director of Legal Advocacy for Compassion & Choices

Kevin Diaz, National Director of Legal Advocacy for Compassion & Choices

Compassion & Choices today urged senators from the six states where medical aid in dying is authorized to vote to reject Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch because he failed to renounce his opposition to this end-of-life option during his confirmation hearings. The full Senate is expected to vote whether to confirm Judge Gorsuch by Friday after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination today by an 11-9 vote.

Medical aid in dying is authorized in Judge Gorsuch’s home state of Colorado, California, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. These seven jurisdictions represent 18 percent of the nation’s population.

“We hoped Judge Gorsuch would testify he had reconsidered his opposition to medical aid in dying since he wrote his 2006 book on this issue, but he repeatedly made statements consistent with his book,” said Kevin Díaz, national director of legal advocacy for Compassion & Choices, the nation’s largest end-of-life choice advocacy group, with 450,000 members nationwide. “Confirming Judge Gorsuch is too much of a risk for terminally ill adults in the six states where this option is authorized to peacefully end intolerable suffering. That’s why we urge these senators to represent their constituents by rejecting Judge Gorsuch to the nation’s highest court.”

In 1997, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Glucksberg v. Washington encouraged states to engage in an “earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality and practicality of” medical aid in dying as an option to end suffering for mentally competent, terminally ill adults.

Nevertheless, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, concluded in his 2006 book entitled, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: “.…the court’s decisions seem to assure that the debate…may have only begun…”

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