Illinois AFL-CIO and Chicago Federation of Labor leaders support medical-aid-in-dying state legislation

February 26, 2024

Illinois End-Of-Life Options Coalition Logo

A bill introduced in the Illinois Senate two weeks ago that would allow medical aid in dying for those suffering from terminal illnesses is supported by the principal officers of both the Chicago Federation of Labor and the Illinois chapter of the AFL-CIO on Tuesday.

The legislation—SB3499, the End of Life Options for Terminally Ill Patients Act, initially sponsored by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes and State Sen. Laura Fine, would make Illinois the 11th state to give terminally ill individuals the option to experience a peaceful death by requesting and self-administering medication.

“Our Illinois unions have a long history at being at the forefront of positive social change, and this is another example of them leading the way,” said Amy Sherman, Midwest Advocacy Director for Compassion & Choices Action Network Illinois, a member of the Illinois End-of-Life Options Coalition. “The majority of Illinoisans – 7 out of 10 likely voters in a 2023 Impact Research poll – want this compassionate option. Advocates, especially those experiencing terminal illnesses or who have witnessed loved ones suffer at the end of life, are grateful to see key labor leaders support this legislation.”

Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter

Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter

“When a worker chooses to join a union, they exercise a fundamental right to engage in collective action to even the field with their employers,” said Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter. “And when faced with a terminal diagnosis, people should also have a choice when planning their end-of-life care with their medical providers.”

“Terminally ill patients deserve autonomy and compassion as they weigh end-of-life care options with their medical provider. Dying people should have the power to choose what brings comfort and peace of mind for themselves and their families,” said Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. “Just as we fight for the rights of workers to choose to join a union, we must also fight for individuals to have control over their own medical care, especially when faced with a devastating prognosis.”

Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO

Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO

The Illinois End-of-Life Options Coalition is a statewide partnership dedicated to raising both awareness and support across Illinois for medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults. The coalition’s goal is to authorize medical aid in dying and ensure that terminally ill people who want it can access it. The coalition’s partners include ACLU Illinois, Compassion & Choices Action Network Illinois, and Final Options Illinois. Learn more about their work at

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Joanna Klonsky, 312-307-0840, [email protected]
Sean Crowley, 202-495-8520, [email protected]
Ed Yohnka, 847-687-1129, [email protected]
Spanish Language Media: Patricia A. González-Portillo, 323-819-0310, [email protected]

Compassion & Choices
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