The Council of the District of Columbia today passed the Death with Dignity Act. With a 11 to 2 vote, the Councilmembers recognized their constituents need the option to control how they die.
We could not be more excited, proud, and grateful. Excited to see the fruits of nearly two years of our work with the bill’s sponsor, Councilmember Mary Cheh, and her colleagues. Proud of the hard work the Councilmember and her staff did shepherding the bill through the Council in collaboration with our organization, the first national right-to-die advocacy organization on the ground in D.C. And grateful because it has been your emails, phone calls, and donations that have brought us to this point.
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We are also grateful to the Councilmembers for voting to make sure D.C. residents who face death from a terminal illness can choose from a full range of end-of-life options.
Rather than give in to the dishonesty and lies the opponents of Death with Dignity threw at them, the Councilmembers evaluated the facts we presented and listened to the will of the people. Two in three DC residents support this option, allowing qualified terminally-ill people to end their lives in a legal, peaceful manner.
Since the effort to enact this legislation began nearly two years ago, the Death with Dignity National Center has been at the center of efforts to provide the end-of-life option for terminally ill residents of our nation’s capital.
While your committed support and our tireless work got us to this point, it is the Councilmembers that passed the law.
We are this close to the Act becoming law in D.C. But our work is not done. The Council has to vote once more (the bill will be up for a second required vote by December 6), the Mayor has to approve the Act, and Congress has to let the Act stand. All in due course. Today we celebrate this achievement and thank the Councilmembers.
Image by Narith5.