Maryland Gov.-Elect Wes Moore Endorses Medical Aid in Dying

January 11, 2022

Paid for by Compassion & Choices Action Network.

Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore endorsed medical aid in dying as an option for mentally capable, terminally ill adults to gently end unbearable suffering during a question and answer session at the Maryland Daily Record’s Eye on Annapolis Summit on key issues in 2023.

Gov.-elect Wes Moore greets Compassion & Choices  Action Network Maryland Campaign Director Donna Smith

Gov.-elect Wes Moore greets Compassion & Choices Action Network Maryland Campaign Director Donna Smith

Below is a partial transcript of the 2:30 video recording of Gov.-elect Moore’s response to a question on the issue by Maryland internist Dr. Michael Strauss. You can watch the video at bit.ly/MdGovEndorsesAidInDying

Dr. Michael Strauss:

I was invited by Compassion & Choices, one of the sponsors [of the Eye of Annapolis Summit]. I was going to ask about bodily autonomy. You answered half my question, beginning of life. I just want to see feelings about the end of life and death with dignity, aiding dying at the end of life.

Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore:

“… the time that I have spent with families, the things that I’ve seen in my own family, when you are watching someone suffer, when you are watching someone go through a pain that is not just unimaginable, it’s not just painful for them, it is painful for everybody who has to witness it and be in the presence … we as a state have to make sure that we are protecting that ability for people to be able to make those clear mind, clear-hearted, independent decisions about the suffering that they are enduring and the suffering that their family members who are also watching them to go through, as well.”

“We are very grateful to Governor-elect Moore for his personal, passionate endorsement of medical aid in dying,” said Compassion & Choices Action Network President/CEO Kim Callinan, who lives in Kensington, MD. “Terminally ill Marylanders have waited eight years since the End of Life Option Act was originally introduced in 2015 for state lawmakers to pass this medical aid-in-dying legislation. As a result of their inaction, numerous Marylanders have died with needless suffering. We urge the newly-elected Legislature to right this wrong by passing this compassionate legislation in 2023.”

Compassion & Choices Action Network was an advocacy sponsor of the summit. The sponsorship included a full-page, full-color ad in the Annapolis Summit publication featuring an endorsement of medical aid in dying by the late Maryland Congressman Elijah Cumming, the first African American to be named Speaker Pro Tem in the Maryland House of Delegates, and an online video posted at thedailyrecord.com/eye-on-annapolis. The video features recently deceased prostate cancer patient Ron Dickey, who died on Nov. 9, and his wife Linda Lampkin, in which they both plead with state lawmakers to pass the Maryland End of Life Option Act (the video is on the right-hand side of the web page thedailyrecord.com/eye-on-annapolis just below the Compassion & Choices Action Network logo).

“Maryland’s legislative leaders have the power to ensure that no other terminally ill Maryland resident has to suffer needlessly at the end of life, as Ron Dickey did, by passing the End of Life Option Act this session,” said Compassion & Choices Action Network 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.”

Gonzales Research & Media Services telephone poll of 807 registered voters in Maryland from Dec. 20-30, 2021 showed:

  1. 57% say they personally “would want the option of medical aid in dying” if they “had an incurable, terminal illness, still had a sound mind, had less than six months to live and met the legal requirements.”
  2. 69% say they support the option of medical aid in dying for Marylanders.
  3. 73% said Marylanders should have this option after learning that Washington, D.C. and 10 states have it. There was 66% or higher support for Maryland having this option in every demographic measured in the survey, including party affiliation, race, and region:
  • Democratic voters: 77%
  • Republican voters: 70%
  • Unaffiliated voters: 66%
  • African American voters: 68%
  • White voters: 76%
  • Baltimore City voters: 70%
  • Baltimore suburban voters: 72%
  • Eastern Shore voters: 73%
  • Western Maryland voters: 73%
  • Washington suburban voters: 75%

In addition, the Maryland State Medical Society adopted a neutral stance on the bill after a 2016 survey showed a majority of its members supported it.

Paid for by Compassion & Choices Action Network.

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