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Tennessee

Current Status

The Tennessee State Legislature is not considering an aid in dying bill at this time.



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Resources

Tennessee General Assembly website

Polling

In a May 2015 Vanderbilt University poll, 55 percent of Tennesseans expressed approval for death with dignity legislation.

History

2017

Tennessee State Representative Tim Wirgau (R-District 75) sponsored HB 1394, an assisted dying bill, which he withdrew from committee a week later. Tennessee State Senator Reginald Tate (D-Shelby) introduced S 1378, a companion right-to-die bill, the same day.

2015

The 2015 session was the first time a death with dignity bill was considered in the Tennessee legislature.

Tennessee State Representative Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) sponsored HB 1040, Tennessee Death with Dignity Act, with two co-sponsors, Rep. David Alexander (R-Moore) and Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Coffee). The bill was moved to summer study by the House Subcommittee that considered it. Senator Reginald Tate (D-Shelby) sponsored the companion bill, SB 1362, with the same outcome. A hearing was held on June 9. The bills remained on file for the 2016 session, but did not move forward.

A prominent Tennessee political figure John Jay Hooker championed the cause and circumvented the legislature by filing a lawsuit asking for death with dignity through the courts. The case was in the appeals process when Hooker died on January 24, 2016.