Senate Sponsor Withdraws End-of-Life Option Act


The state Senate sponsor of a bill that would have allowed terminally ill individuals to obtain a prescription to end their lives has withdrawn the bill, effectively killing the legislation in this year’s Maryland General Assembly.

Sen. Ronald Young, a Frederick County Democrat, withdrew the Senate version of the End-of-Life Option Act, saying it did not have enough support to clear the Senate Judicial Proceeding Committee, according to reports.

The House version of the bill, sponsored by Howard County Democrat Del. Shane Pendergrass, had a hearing in the House Health and Government Operations Committee in February. Pendergrass said she will continue to push for the bill in the House this year, and, if necessary, next year, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Young and Pendergrass, along with legislative co-sponsors and advocates, launched a campaign for the bill at a January press conference. Since last year’s “Death with Dignity Act” failed to make it out of committee, a number of changes were made that legislators and advocates thought would
increase support.

Under the bill, terminally ill individuals with six months to live could obtain lethal medication after three requests, including one in private with a patient’s doctor. The individual must have the ability to self-administer the medication.

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