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Pass Death with Dignity in Massachusetts

IMPORTANT UPDATE, June 2, 2022: The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing has extended their consideration of The End of Life Options Act (H.2381/S.1384) to July 31. That gives us more time to convince Speaker Mariano and Senate President Spilka to prioritize this bill. Write them now and urge them to support Death with Dignity.

Dying people should not have to suffer against their wishes.

Adults with terminal illness should have the right to end their lives peacefully, in a dignified way, surrounded by family and loved ones. Write now to demand the Massachusetts Legislature act.

About Death with Dignity

Death with Dignity has been campaigning for the rights of Massachusetts residents with terminal illness since 2011, and advocating for the fundamental freedom of choice in life and death across the country for more than 25 years.

This year Massachusetts End of Life Options bills have been reintroduced in the Senate and House. Despite well-funded opposition and rampant misinformation, 70% of Massachusetts residents support medical aid in dying.

Timeline of Death with Dignity in Massachusetts

2022

2022

March: Bill passes out of committee

On Tuesday, March 14, the Joint Committee on Public Health passed the End of Life Options Act out of committee.

February: Bill Extended

On Wednesday, February 2, the Joint Committee on Public Health extended their consideration of the End of Life Options Act. That means they gave themselves more time to decide what they want to do, and if it will ultimately come up for a vote by the end of the 2022 legislative session.

2021

2021

October: Committee Hearing

On Friday, October 1, dozens of Death with Dignity supporters spoke in favor of the bill at a Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health hearing. We are now awaiting committee assignment of the bill, and next steps for our advocacy.

March: Bill Reintroduced

The Massachusetts End of Life Options Act (H.2381/S.1384) is reintroduced for the 2021 legislative session. The bill is sponsored by a total of 67 members of the Massachusetts Legislature (20 Senators, 47 Representatives).

2020

2020

Legislation Advances

S.1208/H.1926, the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act, advanced from the Joint Committee on Public Health on May 29, 2020, but did not pass during the 2020 legislative session, despite overwhelming public support.

2018

2018

Bills Sent to Study

The 2017-2018 session was the eighth time a death with dignity bill came up for consideration in the Massachusetts legislature. A hearing was held, and the bills were sent to study, effectively ending their chances of passage in the 2018 session.

2017

2017

Endorsement from the Massachusetts Medical Society

In December 2017, the Massachusetts Medical Society rescinds its opposition to “physician assisted suicide” and adopted a position of “neutral engagement” on the issue.

2013 – 2016

2013 – 2016

Four Bills are Launched

In four consecutive legislative sessions, similar bills are introduced in an effort to advance death with dignity in Massachusetts. None of them move out of committee.

2012

2012

Despite Public Support, Massachusetts Ballot Initiative Fails

Death with Dignity National Center campaigned in Massachusetts for Question 2, a ballot initiative to pass a death with dignity bill. While polls showed 58 percent of commonwealth residents supported Question 2, the measure narrowly lost (51 to 49 percent) against a flood of spending by the opposition.