The whirlwind of media attention to Death with Dignity continued into February. These are the highlights of press coverage of the most important developments in the movement around the United States from February 1 to February 7, 2015.
If you only read one article, make sure it’s this overview of Death with Dignity developments written in response to the New York lawsuit (see below): “More states consider assisted-suicide laws since Brittany Maynard’s death,” The Christian Science Monitor, 2/4/2015.
(For a good overview of the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling that Canadian adults who are mentally competent and suffering intolerably and permanently have the right to a doctor’s help in dying, read this Globe and Mail article. And, TIME magazine has an analysis, including our take, of the impact of SCC’s ruling in the U.S.)
The buzz around California’s End of Life Option Act continues unabated.
- “‘Choices are fine, if they’re your choices’,” The Record, 1/31/2015
- “‘Death With Dignity’ Debate Returns to Sacramento,” NBC Bay Area, 2/2/2015
- “Dying with dignity: A patient’s choice,” The Orion, 2/3/2015
- “Readers React: Don’t call death with dignity ‘suicide’,” LA Times, 2/4/2015
Following the introduction of a bill the previous week, a lively debate unfolded in Colorado before a House Committee heard and rejected the bill on Friday. Sixty-eight percent of Coloradans continue to favor Death with Dignity.
- “Debate on death with dignity begins to churn in Colorado,” Denver Post, 2/1/2015
- “Death with Dignity,” KDVR-FOX31 Denver, 2/1/2015
- “‘Death with Dignity’ To Be Debated At The Colorado Legislature,” KUNC, 2/2/2015
- “Capitol Conversation: Physician Assisted Suicide,” KRCC, 2/2/2015
- “We all have a right to die with dignity; time for Colorado legislature to ensure that,” Aurora Sentinel, 2/4/2015
- “Colorado right-to-die bill gets first public hearing, which could last for up to eight hours,” ABC7 News Denver, 2/6/2015
- “Committee rejects Colorado’s proposed assisted suicide law,” Denver Post, 2/6/2015
- “Colorado lawmakers vote down assisted suicide bill,” Reuters, 2/7/2015
- “Colorado rejects right-to-die legislation,” AJC.com (via Associated Press), 2/7/2015
If you are interested in following the Committee hearings as they unfolded on Friday, February 6 (and as they will continue in the future, if applicable), see the Twitter hashtag #coleg.
District of Columbia and Maryland
The D.C. Council debates a death-with-dignity bill introduced mid-January by Councilmember Cheh, while Maryland awaits the introduction of companion death-with-dignity bills in the Assembly and Senate.
- “‘Death With Dignity’ bill likely to get slow walk through D.C. Council,” Washington Post, 2/2/2015
- “Bill would allow terminally ill people to end their lives,” Washington Post (via Associated Press), 2/2/2015
- “D.C., Md. lawmakers advancing ‘Death with Dignity’ measures,” ABC7 News, 2/4/2015
Whereas physician-assisted dying isn’t illegal in Montana by Supreme Court ruling, two bills are circulating in the State Legislature: a Senate bill legalizing death with dignity and a House bill criminalizing physicians’ participation in assisted suicide. Media coverage has been mostly relegated to letters to the editor.
- “Support Aid in Dying legislation,” Helena Independent Record, 2/5/2015
- “HB 328 would take away end-of-life choice” The Montana Standard, 2/8/2015
New Mexico is watching out for an appeals court ruling on the legality of physicians’ right to aid patients in hastening their deaths.
- “Editorial: Legislature, not courts, should update aid in dying,” Albuquerque Journal, 2/1/2015
While two Senators prepare to introduce a bill, a group of patients and physicians filed a lawsuit challenging New York’s statute banning assisted suicide.
- “Lawsuit Seeks to Legalize Doctor-Assisted Suicide for Terminally Ill Patients in New York,” New York Times, 2/4/2015
- “Lawsuit Looks to Legalize Aid in Dying in New York,” TIME, 2/4/2015
- “New Lawsuit Could Make N.Y. 6th State Where Doctors Can ‘Aid in Dying’,” Newsweek, 2/4/2015
- “3 terminally sick patients sue New York state over assisted suicide law against doctors,” New York Daily News, 2/4/2015
- “Lawsuit asks court to allow doctor-assisted suicide in New York,” Reuters, 2/5/2015
- “Is Aid in Dying a Civil Right Long Overdue?,” Huffington Post, 2/5/2015
- “Death with dignity suit on par with Brooklyn pol’s legislative agenda,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2/6/2015
There’s a low-key discussion of a death-with-dignity bill in Wisconsin.
- “State lawmaker has personal ties to a proposed ‘death with dignity’ bill,” The Badger Herald, 2/2/2015
Death with Dignity is debated even in states that do not have bills on the books or legislative docket.
- Illinois: “Family Struggles With Father’s Wish To Die,” NPR, 2/1/2015
- Kentucky: “Friends call murder-suicide a love story,” WDRB News, 1/31/2015
- Ohio: “Debate Forum: The death debate,” Dayton City Paper, 2/3/2015
Image by Communicore82.
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