Utah’s End of Life Options Act Sees its First Hearing in Five Years

February 15, 2022

Bill Would Have Allowed Terminally Ill Utahns the Option to Die Peacefully, Not Painfully 

(Salt Lake City, UT) Today, for the first time in five years, Utah lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would have allowed terminally ill Utah adults the option to peacefully end their suffering if it becomes unbearable. The bill did not pass the Health & Human Services Committee.

The End of Life Options Act HB 74, sponsored by Representative Jennifer Dailey-Provost, would have given mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication that they may decide to ingest if their suffering becomes unbearable.

“We are thankful that legislators were able to hear credible, supportive testimony on this compassionate end of life option for terminally-ill Utahns, and I am confident that the words spoken will not be soon forgotten.” said Samantha Trad, National Director of Care Advocacy for Compassion & Choices. “We are hopeful that one day lawmakers will pass this legislation so that terminally ill Utah adults are not forced to suffer at the end of their lives.”

Rebecca Chavez-Houck, former member of Utah’s House of Representative, testified about the importance of passing the compassionate bill, which is similar to the legislation she sponsored in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“I strongly believe Utahns should have the option, in consultation with their families, doctors and faith leaders, to make the end-of-life care decisions that are right for them in the final stages of a terminal illness,” she said. “I urge you to truly listen to the voices of terminally-ill Utahns and their families, whose last wish is to die peacefully, not painfully.”

Ten states and Washington, D.C. currently allow mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live, the option of medical aid in dying to peacefully end unbearable suffering.

Compassion & Choices
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