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Stoughton Journal Online: Letter to the Editor: Time to pass Kafka’s medical aid-in-dying bill

An excerpt from the Stoughton Journal Online letter to the editor, “Time to pass Kafka’s medical aid-in-dying bill,” by Quincy resident and Compassion & Choices Massachusetts Campaign Manager Brian Monteiro, published June 19, 2020:


“Contrary to Matt Valliere’s claims, it is factually incorrect to equate someone who wants to prematurely end their life because they are depressed with mentally capable, terminally ill adults who would get the option to get prescription medication to peacefully end unbearable suffering if the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act (H. 4782/S. 2745) becomes law.

In fact, the bill text specifies that: ‘A qualified patient’s act of self-administering medication obtained pursuant to this act shall not constitute suicide…’ The legislation also requires anyone who: ‘coerces or exerts undue influence on a patient to request medication to end the patient’s life, or to destroy a rescission of a request, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment…’

Similar penalties in other states explain why there are no documented cases of misuse in the 10 jurisdictions that have authorized medical aid in dying since 1997: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana (via a state Supreme Court ruling), New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C…

…71 percent of Massachusetts voters support medical aid in dying, according to the most recent poll on the issue by Purple Insights. After nine years of debate on the End of Life Options Act since it was first introduced in 2011, it is time to honor the wishes of the majority of state voters and enact it into law.