If the bill is passed, Massachsuetts would join 10 other jurisdictions across the country that have authorized medical aid in dying.
Advocates are calling for the passage of the End-of-Life Options Act, a bill that would give the terminally ill in Massachusetts autonomy over their death. Through this legislation, a patient would voluntarily be able to make a request for aid in dying and a prescription for medication that would bring about a peaceful death. Nearly 75% of Americans support medical aid in dying, according to a poll taken last May.
Lee Marshall, a Gloucester psychotherapist and former registered nurse, was diagnosed with stage four terminal cancer in October 2018. She now advocates for people to decide when the pain and suffering reaches the point where quality of life is no longer there.
“And medical aid in dying would allow me the sort of the comfort that if that happens to me, I have a way to relieve my suffering, so I’m in control,” Marshall explained.
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Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.