Massachusetts Bill Moves Forward
For the first time since its introduction nine years ago, the Massachusetts End of Life Option Act is approved in committee and advances to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
by Patrick Donges
June 25, 2020
On May 29, Compassion & Choices marked a huge advancement in our campaign to expand and protect end-of-life care options in Massachusetts and across the country when the state’s Joint Committee on Public Health approved legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying: the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act (H.4782/S.2745). It is the first time a legislative committee approved the bill since it was originally introduced by Representative Louis L. Kafka in 2011.
Both the House and Senate bills now await consideration by the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
May’s successful committee vote followed a string of letters to the editors published in local state newspapers and supportive editorials from across the state, including the editorial boards of the Pioneer Valley’s Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Pittsfield-based Berkshire Eagle.
Given the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic related to the legislative process, the committee voted on the bill via email over the course of about 24 hours on Thursday, May 28, to Friday, May 29. Massachusetts supporters can find out how they can help advance the bill as soon as possible by visiting CompassionAndChoices.org/Massachusetts.