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Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland c/o Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, UULM-MD Copyright ©2019. All Rights Reserved.
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Medical Aid in Dying and the 2020 Session

 

HB 643 /SB 701 - The bill is based on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.The Maryland bill, like the Oregon Act will allow terminally ill state residents to obtain and use prescriptions from their physicians for self-administered, lethal medications. In 2020, we hope to have this bill pass both houses and signed by the governor.

How Does this Bill Work? To request a prescription for lethal medications, the bill will require that a patient must be:

  • An adult (18 years of age or older)

  • A resident of the state

  • Competent (defined as able to make and communicate health care decisions)

  • Diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months

  • Able to self-administer the medicationPatients meeting these requirements will be eligible to request a prescription for lethal medication from a licensed Maryland physician.

To receive a prescription for lethal medication, the following steps must be fulfilled:

  • The patient must make two oral requests to his or her physician, separated by at least 15 days.

  • The patient must provide a writ-ten request to his or her physician, signed in the presence of two wit-nesses.

  • The prescribing physician and a consulting physician must confirm the diagnosis and prognosis.

  • The prescribing physician and a consulting physician must determine whether the patient is capable.

  • If either physician believes the patient's judgment is impaired by a psychiatric or psychological disor-der, the patient must be referred for a psychological examination.

  • The prescribing physician must inform the patient of feasible alter-natives to physician aid in dying, including comfort care, hospice care, and pain control.

  • The prescribing physician must request, but may not require, the patient to notify his or her next-of-kin.

For more information, please contact the Medical Aid in Dying Task Force Chair Rev. Alexa Fraser at DeathWithDignity@uulmmd.org.