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Massachusetts

CURRENT STATUS: Pending Bills

We’re building momentum in Massachusetts

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.

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Massachusetts

Timeline of Death with Dignity in Massachusetts

2023

2023

On January 12, the Massachusetts End of Life Options Act (SD.265) is filed.

2022

2022

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.

2021

2021

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).

2020

2020

Legislation Advances

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.

2018

2018

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.

2017

2017

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.

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 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.