Monday, March 21, 2022

EPC report: States that are debating assisted suicide in America.

Sara Buscher - Chair, EPC - USA
Alex Schadenberg - Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The state assisted suicide activity report does not include bills that we are expecting to be introduced in the next few weeks. We will update the report when other assisted suicide bills are introduced or bills are defeated.

States with Bills to Legalize Assisted Suicide that were introduced in 2021.
  1. Massachusetts: S. 1384, H. 2381 (introduced in 2021).
  2. Delaware: HB 140, introduced June 30, 2021. (carried over to 2022).
  3. Minnesota: SF 1352, HF 1358 (carried over to 2022)
  4. New York: A 4321, S 6471 (carried over to 2022)
  5. Pennsylvania: S.B. 405, HB 1453 (carried over to 2022)
  6. North Carolina H 780 (carried over to 2022)
States with Bills to Legalize Assisted Suicide that were introduced in 2022.
  1. Indiana: HB 1020 referred to Public Health Committee.
  2. Kentucky: HB 149 
  3. Rhode Island: H. 6600 
  4. Virginia: HB 1095, SB668 (Bill defeated in committee).
  5. Utah: HB 74 
  6. Arizona: HB 2762
  7. New York A00198 Study MAiD if state enacts it.
  8. Wisconsin SB 1013 died on March 15 when the legislature adjourned.

The assisted suicide lobby have promoted assisted suicide bills in several states but they are focussed on New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Connecticut bill has yet to be introduced.

New York has several bills, including an assisted suicide study bill that was introduced this year.

States With Bills to Expand Existing Assisted Suicide laws in 2022

  1. Hawaii: SB 323, SB 839, SD 2, HB 487. Bill passed in the Senate, carried from 2021.
  2. Hawaii HB1823, SB2680 Adds physician extenders. Introduced in 2022.
  3. Vermont: S.74. Carried from 2021; H 497 changes conscience rights and allows assisted suicide by telemedicine. Introduced in 2022
  4. Washington: HB 1141. Bill passed in the House but died when it was not acted on in the Senate.

States with Bills to strengthen penalties for Assisted Suicide
  1. New York: S. 6140. Prohibits insurance coverage/payment for assisted suicide.
  2. New Jersey A1414 upgrade the crimes of coercing a patient to request or forging a request for lethal medication.
  3. New Jersey A1415 – Repeals MAiD Act.
Court Cases to legalize or expand Assisted Suicide laws
  1. California: Shavelson, M.D. et al v. California Department of Health Care Services, is a challenge in the federal district court to the California assisted suicide law stating that the law must allow euthanasia of people with disabilities who cannot self-administer the lethal drugs.
  2. Oregon: Gideonse v. Brown et al. seeks to have residency requirements in state assisted suicide laws declared unconstitutional. Case is in federal Oregon District Court in Portland. This case would potentially extend assisted suicide to all of the USA.
  3. Minnesota:Final Exit Network, Inc. v. Stuart, is a challenge in federal court asking it to overturn Minnesota’s law prohibiting assisted suicide.
  4. Kligler v. Healy in Supreme Court of Massachusetts to decide if there is a constitutional right to assisted suicide in the state's constitution.
  5. CMDA v Bonta in California district court challenge to new SB 380 requirements concerning physician conscience rights. SB 380 stated that a request for assisted suicide must be documented by the doctor and counted as the first oral request which is a form of participation.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is very concerned with the direction of the court cases to legalize or expand assisted suicide laws. The Oregon - Gideonse v. Brown et al. case could lead to assisted suicide being done throughout the US via Oregon. Further to that, if an activist judge sides with Shavelson in California, that would allow euthanasia in California, but in reality it could lead to euthanasia in every state that has legalized assisted suicide. EPC-USA is working with a legal team on several of these cases.

Defeated Bills to Legalize Assisted Suicide in 2021 (for reference)

  1. Arizona: HB 2254, SB 1775. Bills died in committee with no activity.
  2. Connecticut: HB 6425. Bill passed one committee, died in the second committee.
  3. Indiana: HB 1074. Bill died in committee with no activity.
  4. Iowa: SF 212, HF475. Bills died in committee with no activity.
  5. Kansas: HB 2202. Bill died in committee with no activity.
  6. Kentucky: HB 506. Bill died in committee with no activity.
  7. Nevada: SB 105, AB 351. SB 105 died in committee with no activity. AB 351 was released from one committee and died in another.
  8. North Dakota: HB 1415. Bill voted down by the House.
  9. Rhode Island: H 5572, S 0775. Bills died in committee with no activity.

We thank the people in every state who have been involved with opposing assisted suicide. We recognize the importance of the disability rights movement and we will help disability rights organizations engage in the assisted suicide debate.

More articles on these topics:

  • 2022 Assisted Suicide US predications (Link). 
  • The US assisted suicide lobby plans for expanding assisted suicide (Link).
  • Assisted suicide deaths are not what you think they are (Link).

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