Compassion & Choices and its Delaware supporters met with lawmakers at the state Capitol June 21 to urge them to pass the End of Life Options Act, which would authorize medical aid in dying for terminally ill residents.
The bill, authored by Rep. Paul Baumbach, passed out of the House Health and Human Development Committee by an 8 – 6 vote on June 7. The Committee vote to advance the bill clears the way for the full Delaware House of Representatives to consider it.
“What brought me here today is my desire to make a difference with the limited time I have left,” stated Wilmington resident, Tom LaFollette, who is living with Kaposi’s sarcoma, a terminal, opportunistic infection from HIV/AIDS. “I wanted to let my legislators know that for terminally ill, mentally capable residents of Delaware, this issue is not a matter of ‘policy;’ it is ‘personal.’”
“If our lawmakers don’t act to support this bill now, next year might be too late for me, as well as the countless others who await this decision,” added LaFollette. “The End-of-Life Options Act will provide great comfort to many people whose sole wish is to have more options at end of life.”
“As a spiritual leader and church pastor, it is my belief that when suffering and incapacity induced by terminal illness overwhelm our ability to bear it, a compassionate
alternative must be available to us. That is why I support medical aid in dying,” said the Rev. Cynthia Robinson, pastor of the New Ark United Church of Christ in Newark, DE. “Dying must be embraced as a natural part of life and we must promote understanding and acceptance of diverse spiritual beliefs related to end-of-life decisions.”