Maryland To Consider ‘Right-To-Die’ Bill

Nick Givas Media And Politics Reporter
Font Size:

Two Maryland lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill this legislative session that would allow terminally ill patients above the age of 18 to request medication to end their life.

The Associated Press reports that the current bill stipulates that patients must have six months or less to live, and must provide oral and written consent from at least two doctors.

After receiving the written order, patients are not required to fill the prescription or to ingest the drug.

Even if the bill were to clear the hurdles of a committee, and pass the state House and Senate, it would most likely be defeated by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto pen.

Hogan is a strong opponent of “right to die” legislation and has said that the job of a doctor is to save lives.

Maryland previously outlawed assisted suicide when former Democratic Gov. Paris Glendening signed a bill into law banning the practice in 1999. The law made Maryland the 38th state at that time to pass legislation against assisted suicide.

To date, five states have allowed doctors to assist a patient in their own death. Oregon, Washington and Vermont have legalized assisted suicide through their legislatures; while judges in Montana and New Mexico have ruled that it is not illegal for a physician to prescribe life ending medication.

Several states are now pushing for terminally ill patients to have the right to quicken their deaths. These states now include Colorado, California and Washington D.C.