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Medical Aid in Dying and the 2024 Session


HB 403/SB 443 -  End-of-Life Option Act (The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act)

Allows terminally ill adults to request and receive a prescription for medication that they may choose to take to bring about a peaceful death. To qualify, one must be mentally capable, able to self-ingest the medication AND have a prognosis of six months or less to live. 

In Order to Qualify, 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 medication

Patients meeting these requirements would 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 written request to his or her physician, signed in the presence of two witnesses.

  • 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 believed the patient's judgment was impaired by a psychiatric or psychological disorder, the patient would be referred for a psychological examination.

  • The prescribing physician must inform the patient of feasible alternatives to medical 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 Issue Lead Rev. Alexa Fraser at

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