Those living with a terminal illness, however, are oftentimes given similar, if not identical treatment options, despite the fact that their health and quality of life will steadily and continuously decline until their eventual and inevitable death.
In other words, although terminally-ill individuals are given a plethora of options in controlling how they live, they are given slim to no say in controlling how or when they die.
The majority of those in support of death with dignity legislation are those who have felt firsthand the personal heartbreak that emanates after witnessing a terminally-ill loved one relentlessly suffer for so long. According to the Death with Dignity National Center, 7 in 10 Americans support the addition of death with dignity laws in the continuum of end-of-life care, yet very few states have them (California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and Washington).
By supporting House Bill 4461, Michigan can join the other forward thinking, compassionate states in helping to better provide autonomy, freedom and peace of mind for terminally-ill individuals and their end-of-life care.
Michigan’s proposed Death with Dignity Act, House Bill 4461, would not authorize a physician or any other person to end a patient’s life by lethal injection, mercy killing or active euthanasia. Instead, the law would provide strict regulations and safeguards. It would only be applicable to terminally-ill adults who have been given a life expectancy that is less than six-months and will require two separate physicians, one of which must include the individual’s primary attending physician, to consult and agree that the individual is adequately capable and psychologically competent enough to make such a decision. Only then will the individual become qualified to voluntarily request a self-administered prescription to end his or her life in a dignified manner.
House Bill 4461 was first introduced in March of 2017 and has been referred to the House Committee on Health Policy where it has been stalled ever since. To help bring focus back towards this bill, contact Representative Hank Vaupel, the Chair of the Committee. Implore him to put this bill on the committee’s next meeting agenda.
N-896 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909
Bloomfield Hills, MI