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More States Advance Death-With-Dignity Option

Compassion & Choices continues to make powerful progress in the growing number of states across the nation where people are demanding full end-of-life options.

Our Maryland campaigners rallied more than 100 supporters for an amazing Lobby Day yesterday at the capital in Annapolis to meet with their elected officials and ask them to vote for The Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer Death With Dignity Act, which was recently introduced by Sen. Ron Young and Del. Shane Pendergrass. “It was so impressive to break into small groups and hit the hallways only to, literally, bump into other C&C advocates or to see our materials already on aides’ desks,” said Compassion & Choices Communications and Marketing Director Gwen Fitzgerald. The bill sponsors appeared at two C&C functions: a reception for legislators and a press conference about the bill that generated terrific press and drew numerous other legislators.

The lobby day and press event preceded two scheduled hearings for the legislation: tomorrow, March 6, with the Judiciary & Health and Government Affairs Committees in the House of Delegates; and March 10 with the Judicial Proceedings Committee in the Senate. The momentum is strong. Visit our Maryland page to find out how to get involved.

New York joined the list of states with pending legislation with the introduction an aid-in-dying bill on February 13. “I want to give New Yorkers a choice,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, who along with Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, sponsored the bill. “I think that’s something that will be valued, to reduce suffering and give people who have been given a terminal illness some modicum of control.”

Team Connecticut continues efforts to move its bill, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying, to a public hearing. The team will hold a press conference on March 12 and a lobbying day on March 24 in conjunction with the ACLU. They’ve also brought the Six-Words Portrait Project display of people who support aid-in-dying legislation back to the state Capitol complex. The exhibit, which became the focus of controversy when it was first displayed last year, will hang for two weeks.

Out west, California’s End-of-Life Option Act is scheduled for its first hearing, with the Senate Health Committee, on March 25. C&C organizers in the state are working to get as many supporters as they can to Sacramento to speak out at the hearing and were encouraged by Santa Cruz County’s passing of a resolution last month in support of the bill.

All totaled, C&C expects death-with-dignity bills to be considered in at least 29 state and the District of Columbia this year. The number of bills spiked after C&C issued a national call to action on death with dignity on Nov. 19, what would have been Brittany Maynard’s 30th birthday.

Lawmakers need to hear from you. Take action and keep up with the phenomenal progress around the country on our state pages.