End of Life Options Act is needed

Published: 6/10/2020 4:31:20 PM

The challenges of COVID-19 needn’t keep our Legislature from taking action to offer relief to many of our citizens who are terminally ill with cancer, heart disease and the like, by passing the End of Life Options Act (H.1926).

This opportunity to do so became real on May 29, when the Joint Committee on Public Health voted overwhelmingly to pass H.1926.

I support this bill partly because of the experience of a relative whose unbearable pain was drawn out by doctors’ inability, despite requests, to assist in ending their suffering. Also, I’ve experienced pain that I wouldn’t have wanted to continue weeks or even days longer if my diagnosis had been terminal.

Hospice and palliative care services are wonderful, but in too many cases people still die in great pain and unrelieved suffering. If terminally ill and mentally capable, people should have the option of medical, compassionate aid in dying, as Maine, Vermont, New Jersey, and seven other states have authorized over the past 23 years.

Please contact your state legislators and urge them to support passage of H.1926 by the full House and Senate as soon as possible. Then ask your friends and family throughout Massachusetts to do the same with their legislators.

Jonathan von Ranson



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