Maryland ‘right to die’ bill being withdrawn

WASHINGTON — The controversial “right to die” issue is a hot button topic fiercely debated between advocates for the terminally ill who wish to end their lives and opponents such as religious groups. But this year, Maryland will not be following D.C.’s lead when it comes to passing a “right to die” law.

For the third year in a row, “aid-in-dying” legislation in Maryland has no chance of becoming law, as it has failed to garner enough support.

The Baltimore Sun reports the legislation is being withdrawn.

State Sen. Guy Guzzone (D-13th) and Del. Shane Pendergrass (D-13th), both from Howard County, had sponsored the legislation that would allow patients who are terminal to legally end their lives.

It is the third year in a row that Pendergrass has sponsored such a bill.

Physician-assisted death legislation in Maryland had been introduced in 1995 and 1996, but went nowhere.

Unlike Maryland, D.C. did pass a law, which took effect last month, that allows residents who are terminally ill and have been given less than six months to live to legally end their lives by being prescribed life-ending medications.

The D.C. “Death with Dignity Act” went into effect on Feb. 20, 2017.

D.C. is the seventh jurisdiction to pass aid-in-dying legislation.

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