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Personal stories help people understand the importance of Death with Dignity legislation, and how it's being enacted.
In January, 2023, Senator Joanne Comerford introduced the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act (SD.265). If passed, this would allow residents of Massachusetts to access medical aid in dying. Additionally, newly elected Governor Maura Healey has publicly stated her support for Death with Dignity and would be expected to sign the law if the legislature passes it.
SIGN OUR PETITION to say that it’s time to pass the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act, and expand the right to Death with Dignity to those who live in Massachusetts.
Death with Dignity laws have been proven effective at improving healthcare quality at the end of life, regardless of whether or not an individual chooses to hasten their death.
On January 12, the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act (SD.265) is filed.
July: Bill Does Not Advance
The Joint Committee on Public Health allows the July 31 extension to expire, effectively killing the bill for this legislative session.
October: Committee Hearing
On Friday, October 1, dozens of Death with Dignity supporters speak in favor of the End of Life Options Act bills at a Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health hearing.
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).
S.1208/H.1926, the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act, advances from the Joint Committee on Public Health on May 29, 2020, but does not pass during the 2020 legislative session, despite overwhelming public support.
Bills Sent to Study
The 2017-2018 session is the eighth time a Death with Dignity bill came up for consideration in the Massachusetts legislature. A hearing is held, and the bills are sent to study, effectively ending their chances of passage in the 2018 session.
Endorsement From the Massachusetts Medical Society
In December 2017, the Massachusetts Medical Society rescinds its opposition to “physician assisted suicide” and adopts a position of “neutral engagement” on the issue.
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.
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 law. While polls show 58 percent of Commonwealth residents support Question 2, the measure narrowly loses (51 to 49 percent) against a flood of spending by the opposition.