BOSTON (WWLP) – Medical aid in dying, sometimes referred to as physician-assisted suicide, has been a topic of discussion for years now.
In 2012, Massachusetts voters shot down medical aid in dying on their ballots, but only by a small margin. Now, lawmakers on Beacon Hill are trying to revive the debate.
On Wednesday, a coalition of supporters joined to discuss the potential future of medical aid in dying. They believe that it is in the best interest of the patient to allow them to make the decision as to when to end their lives.
The bills, filed in both the House and the Senate would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medicine to a patient with only six months to live. There are a number of steps taken to ensure the patient is of sound mind, is taking the medicine voluntarily, and that the patient knows all their options.
“I do believe it’s time for this bill now, to make it forward, it has been proven in other locations and it’s time Massachusetts residents had the pathway embodied in this important legislation,” Sen. Jo Comerford | Amherst
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which opposes the measure, believes there are no amount of safeguards that could be put in place to make this process safe and acceptable.
“We believe every life has value, we believe every life is worth living and we believe that every life is worth living with dignity up until the point of natural death,” Chris Schandevel | Alliance Defending Freedom
Between the two bills, there are over 50 co-sponsors. Now, bills on this matter have been floating around Beacon Hill since 2008, but have never been brought forward for a vote.