ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted on Friday to advance a bill that allows terminally ill patients to request a lethal prescription to hasten their death.
Senate Bill 311, also known as the End of Life Options Act, had been presented this legislative season by Sen. Will Smith, D-Silver Spring, and has 18 co-sponsors—all Democratic.
The legislation would permit residents who are have been diagnosed with an “irreversible” medical condition that “within a reasonable degree of medical certainty” will result in death within six months to request a life-ending drug to bring their health battle to a close.
The individual would be required to make two oral requests, at least 15 days apart, and issue a written request signed by two witnesses. One of the witnesses may be related to the patient, but may not be “entitled to any benefit” upon their death.
The patient may also choose not to inform their family at all of their decision to utilize physician-assisted suicide, as the sample text includes the option “I have decided not to inform my family of my decision.”
“I understand the full import of this request and I expect to die if and when I take the medication to be prescribed,” the written request also states. “I further understand that although most deaths occur within 3 hours, my death may take longer, and my physician has counseled me about this possibility.”
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Senate version of the bill
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