|Posted:||January 11, 2017 12:10 PM|
|From:||Senator Daylin Leach|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Death With Dignity / Right to Die|
In the near future I will be re-introducing the Pennsylvania “Death with Dignity Act”. This bill would allow people with a terminal disease to, under certain conditions, request a prescription for medicine that would end their life in a humane and dignified manner. This law is largely based on an Oregon law which has been in effect for several years and was upheld by the United States Supreme Court.
The inspiration for this bill was a close family member's experience with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The treatments were aggressive and lengthy, they all failed. If any pet owner in America had forced a dog or cat to endure such treatment, he would have been charged with animal cruelty. Yet human beings are, under current law in Pennsylvania, condemned to suffer unspeakable agony with no legal recourse. I believe this has to change.
I think most, if not all of us would want to make our end of life decisions ourselves. My bill would make that possible. There would be strict criteria that would have to be met. Let me lay out what would have to happen before a person could be prescribed life-ending medicine.
There are numerous other protections in the bill which will guarantee, that every request made under the Death with Dignity Act is voluntary, informed and made without coercion of any kind. I think this bill will go a long way towards ensuring that people suffering from terminal diseases in Pennsylvania retain control over their end-of-life care.
If you have questions about this legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Jon Tew, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-768-4200.
Introduced as SB238