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Girdwood, Alaska Passes Resolution in Support of Medical Aid in Dying

Girdwood Board of Supervisors Votes Unanimously to Endorse End-of-Life Option Legislation in Alaska

Compassion & Choices commended the Girdwood Board of Supervisors for voting unanimously in support of medical aid-in-dying legislation in Alaska.

The vote makes Girdwood the first jurisdiction in Alaska to endorse medical aid in dying, a medical practice which gives mentally capable, terminally ill adult state residents with six months or fewer to live the option to peacefully end unbearable suffering.

The resolution will be transmitted to Girdwood’s elected representatives in the state legislature and Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage), who plans to reintroduce her medical aid-in-dying legislation in 2018.

In April, the House Health and Social Services Committee held a hearing to examine House Bill 54, which would have authorized medical aid in dying in Alaska.

The campaign to pass the resolution in Girdwood was led by Barbara Hunt, Girdwood Action Team Leader for Compassion & Choices.

“Momentum is building in support of medical aid-in-dying legislation in Alaska,” Hunt said. “We are thrilled that the Board of Supervisors endorsed medical aid in dying, and we look forward to Rep. Drummond introducing legislation in 2018.”

If Alaska enacts medical aid-in-dying legislation into law, it would join six other states and the District of Columbia in authorizing this end-of-life care option. Medical aid in dying has a combined 40 years of safe use in seven authorized jurisdictions, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, California, Colorado and the District of Columbia.