Maryland Gov. Hogan Says He Is “Open to Both Sides” on End of Life Option Act
Says His Life-Threatening Cancer Experience Changed His Perception of End-of-Life Care Issues
In response to a direct question to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan from Compassion & Choices about if his life-threatening experience with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had changed his perception of end-of-life care issues, Gov. Hogan said it did and he was “open to both sides of the issue” on the End of Life Option Act. Gov. Hogan responded to Compassion & Choices’ question during the Annapolis Summit on key 2020 issues hosted by The Daily Record.
Compassion & Choices was an advocacy sponsor of the summit. The sponsorship included a full page full color ad and 500-word profile in the Annapolis Summit publication, and an online ad and video posted at TheDailyRecord.com, urging lawmakers to pass the End of Life Option Act. The bill would provide mentally capable, terminally ill adults with the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they could decide to take if their suffering becomes unbearable and die peacefully in their sleep.
“As someone who has been receiving medical treatment for metastatic stage IV breast cancer for six years, it means everything to me that this bill will give me the option to die peacefully and end my suffering,” said Chevy Chase cancer patient and bill supporter Marcy Rubin in the video posted on the right hand side in the middle of the page at TheDailyRecord.com.
Sadly, Marcy died without the peaceful dying option that she wanted on June 9, 2019, 10 weeks after the 2019 legislative campaign ended after the House passed the bill on March 7, 2019, but the Senate fell just short of passing a heavily amended version of the legislation in a 23-23-tie vote on March 27, 2019.
“Gov. Hogan and our legislative leaders have the power to ensure that no other terminally ill Maryland resident has to suffer needlessly at the end of life, as Marcy did, by passing the End of Life Option Act this session,” said Compassion & Choices Maryland Campaign Director Donna Smith. “It’s not only the compassionate action to help terminally ill Marylanders who cannot afford any more delay in passing this bill; it’s the politically wise thing to do since polling shows two-thirds of our state’s voters want this option.”
Public Policy Polling last February showed Maryland residents support medical aid in dying by a 3-1 margin (66% to 20%), including majority support from African Americans (59%) and every other demographic group (Independents: 73%, Democrats: 70%, Republicans: 53%, Whites: 69%, Catholics: 65%, Protestants: 62%, Jews: 67%, and Muslims: 52%). The Maryland State Medical Society adopted a neutral stance on the bill after a 2016 survey showed a majority of its members supported it.
Supporters of the End of Life Option Act include the ACLU, Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ, Compassion & Choices Maryland, League of Women Voters of Maryland, Libertarian Party of Maryland, Maryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Anthony Brown, Marylanders for End-of-Life Options, Suburban Maryland Psychiatric Society, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, United Seniors of Maryland, and WISE (Women Indivisible Strong Effective).