An Act to Amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code Relating to End of Life Options
A considerable number of LWVDE members have expressed interest in the provisions of HB 160, “An Act to Amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code Relating to End of Life Options”. It was introduced in the General Assembly in May, 2017 sponsored by Representative Paul Baumbach and Senator Margaret Rose Henry with Reps. Byron Short and Senators Stephanie Hansen and Dave Sokola as co-sponsors. It was released from committee in the House but has not come up for a floor vote.
As you might expect, there is strong opposition to HB 160 and much misinformation about its intent and wording. (It has been called both Assisted Suicide and Death With Dignity but supporters call it End of Life Options). It specifically requires that the affected person be able to administer the medication to him/her self. If you choose to take action, I urge you to get a copy and read it yourself. (Http://legis.delaware.gov or call Legislative Council 800-282-8545)
The synopsis of the bill states:
“The Delaware End of Life Options Act provides an additional option which terminally ill adults nearing their death can decide to select, to lessen their pain and suffering. The bill clarifies the procedures necessary for making the request, including 1) the presentation of all end of life options which include comfort care, hospice care, and pain control, 2) a physician’s evaluation, 3) medical confirmation by a second physician, 4) psychiatric/psychological counseling when indicated, 5) the passage of two waiting periods, and 6) the completion of a formally witnessed request for prescribed medication. The bill provides many safeguards to ensure the patient is making an informed decision, the right to rescind any request for medication, and immunity for persons participating in good faith compliance with the procedures. When the process is followed with its safeguards, the terminally ill patient is provided the right to receive medication to peacefully end the patient’s life in a humane and dignified manner.”
LWV of Delaware