Medical Aid-in-Dying Law Still Sought in MN
Friday, February 18, 2022
Minnesota lawmakers have a lot on their plates during a shorter legislative session this year, but supporters of an end-of-life option bill hope it gets another look.
The current proposal would permit mentally capable adults with less than six months to live to request, obtain and take medication to die peacefully in their sleep.
Carrie Framsted, an advocate for the nonprofit Compassion & Choices from Grand Marais, said she became an advocate for the bill following the death of her wife Monica two years ago. She explained it became clear the cancer treatments were too much for Monica to handle.
"She had two wishes, the pain management and quality of life, and she didn't have either one," Framsted recounted.
The House bill has added sponsors in recent weeks, but it's unclear if it will get a hearing. There is also a companion measure in the Senate. One of the concerns opponents have raised in the past is the possibility of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals. Supporters countered there are numerous safeguards and requirements in place, including accessing the service through licensed providers.
Framsted noted supporters are still working through stigma issues, such as people still referring to the option as "assisted suicide."
"It's a decision you make with your family, your physician, with your friends and loved ones, and they are all with you together," Framsted emphasized.
Other provisions in the bill would allow terminally ill people to withdraw their request if they change their mind at any point, and anyone who attempts to coerce a patient would face criminal prosecution. Health-care providers who participate and comply are given civil and criminal immunity.
Similar laws are in place in nearly a dozen other states.
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