In 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019, legislation was filed in the Maryland General Assembly that would allow doctors to legally prescribe a lethal dose of medicine at the request of a patient who has been deemed mentally competent and who has received a terminal diagnosis — we call this physician-assisted suicide or PAS. These bills were ultimately withdrawn from consideration after successful advocacy by our coalition and other allies because they are unnecessary and dangerous for Maryland’s residents.
If you are someone who doesn’t want medical technology to prolong your last hours, but who also doesn’t want to be starved or allowed to die just because you have a disability, your wishes will be far more likely to be respected if you sign a properly prepared Will to Live than if you sign a Living Will.
In the current legal and ethical climate, a certain irony prevails. At the same time that assisted-suicide advocates are promoting their agenda in the name of “personal choice,” many “ethicists” and “experts” are attempting to limit medical treatment or care – even if the patient or patient’s decision-maker requests it. That is why it is so important to be informed.