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On September 26, 2017, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Health held a hearing for the End of Life Options Act introduced by Rep. Lou Kafka (H1194) and Sen. Barbara L’Italien (S1225). Our staff and volunteers testified at the hearing. The Compassion & Choices team on the ground has been actively working with the legislature to recruit co-sponsors, and our incredible volunteers have sent hundreds of letters in support of the bill.

On October 26, 2016, Compassion & Choices filed suit in the Massachusetts Superior Court on behalf of two medical doctors asserting that current state law allows physicians to offer terminally ill, mentally capable adults the option of medical aid in dying.

With the support of our incredible volunteer force, we are determined to pass a law in the Massachusetts. If you’d like to join an action team click here to get started.

 

JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN IN MASSACHUSETTS:

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History

Compassion & Choices has been on the ground working in the state for five years, beginning with a citizen-led ballot initiative in 2012. Although polls were indicating 64% support, this initiative was narrowly defeated by a last-minute influx of extra-state campaign funds directed at massive media scare tactics and criticisms of the proposed legislation not being protective enough and allowing manipulation of the system.  

C&C stepped up our volunteer efforts in MA in the 2013 – 2014 legislative session. We hosted a strong Lobby Day at the State House in Feb 2014, visiting 30 state representatives and senators, including many of our key swing legislators on the Public Health Committee, and delivering 7,000 petition signatures in support of aid in dying. The supporters in attendance represented a variety of professional backgrounds including physicians, social workers, former state legislators and constituents with personal stories.  

The bill was recommended for further review, essentially preventing it from advancing in that session.

The Massachusetts Compassionate Care for the Terminally Ill Act (H 1991) was heard by the Joint Public Health Committee in October 2015. C&C secured 39 co-sponsors for the bill, and over 200 C&C volunteers turned out in support of the bill, with remarkable testimonies provided by more than 30 supporters. The bill was recommended for further review in Summer 2016, essentially preventing the bill from advancing that legislative session.

Polling Data

Purple Insights Survey, February 2014

» Seven out of 10 Massachusetts voters (71%) support a proposal to allow “mentally competent, terminally ill patients with less than six months to live be able to end their life in a humane and dignified manner, using prescription medications they can self-administer.”

For full polling data for Massachusetts, click here.

Resources

Full text H 1194

Learn more about C&C lawsuit in Massachusetts

Boston Globe covers C&C involvement in Massachusetts

/ October 6, 2017

Defending and Protecting End-of-Life Options in the Courts

Ahn v. Hestrin, California On June 16, a superior court ruled that a lawsuit to overturn the California End of Life Option Act will proceed to trial to determine the case’s merits. Last year, the court accepted a friend-of-the-court brief filed on behalf of Compassion & Choices urging it to deny the plaintiffs’ motion for […]

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/ September 21, 2017

Medical Aid-in-Dying Supporters Highlight Protections for Vulnerable Populations in End of Life Options Act

In response to a legislative briefing held today at noon by opponents of the End of Life Options Act (H.1194/S.1225), bill supporters highlighted the safeguards in the legislation designed to protect vulnerable populations. The Joint Public Health Committee will hold a hearing on the legislation this Tuesday, September 26. The bill would authorize medical aid […]

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