Maryland “Death with Dignity Workgroup” Recap

Editor’s note. This analysis comes from Maryland Against Assisted Suicide.

O.J. Brigance, a former special teams player for the Baltimore Ravens diagnosed in 2007 with ALS, testified earlier this year against right-to-die legislation in Maryland. (Photo: Jim Young/Reuters/Newscom)

O.J. Brigance, a former special teams player for the Baltimore Ravens diagnosed in 2007 with ALS, testified earlier this year against right-to-die legislation in Maryland. (Photo: Jim Young/Reuters/Newscom)

Last week, the Maryland General Assembly’s “Death with Dignity Workgroup” met for a discussion amongst themselves, going over past testimony and considering ways to change the assisted suicide bill that failed last session.

What were the solutions and changes they decided on? Not much.

We would encourage you to listen to the hearing if you have the time, but the key takeaway is that proponents want to spin this workgroup procedure as the end of the discussion on assisted suicide.

They heard the concerns. They addressed the flaws. Now they can move forward with the law.

Hardly.

The changes that were agreed to by the bill’s legislative sponsors were largely cosmetic, including a change in the bill’s title – now the “End of Life Options Act” – and procedural changes for patients who are undertaking assisted suicide.

Our concerns about the risks of abuse remain. Our concerns about the impact on communities that already struggle to receive equitable healthcare remain. Our concerns about the capitulation of our healthcare system to the will of insurance companies looking to save money remain.

We have to remain vigilant against the idea that those concerns have somehow been considered and deemed unworthy.

Our fight is only just beginning anew – the next legislative session will almost certainly see this bill come up for debate. This time, of course, the proponents will try to argue that the flaws have been corrected. They are wrong, and your elected officials need to know that this bill is wrong for Maryland.

Please continue to be a part of our effort to defeat this legislation.

Maryland “Death with Dignity Workgroup” Recap