2015 DPS Bill (H. 1991)
In January 2015 State Representative Louis Kafka of the 8th Norfolk District sponsored H. 1991, the so called “Massachusetts Compassionate Care for the Terminally Ill Act,” to the General Court. Rep. Kafka is an avowed proponent of medical suicide and has proposed similar measures on numerous occasions in the past.
This Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Bill, if passed, would make it legal for doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to supposedly terminally ill patients. Dangerous measures of this sort place the ill, infirm, disabled, and elderly at serious risk and have been consistently rejected by the people of the Commonwealth, including in a 2012 Ballot Initiative.
The bill, if it becomes law, would give doctors the ability to prescribed a lethal dose of drugs to a patient thought to have fewer than 6 months to live. The entire process can be done in only one day and there is no way to ensure that the elderly and infirm were not being bullied into suicide.
Similar measures have been opposed by disability rights groups, hospice providers, and the Massachusetts Medical Society. The current proposed bill requires no waiting period, has few meaningful safeguards and no method of ensuring what safeguards it does have would be followed. In short, Doctor-Prescribed Suicide remain too dangerous for Massachusetts.
The Bill is currently before the Joint Committee on Public Health. CLICK HERE to see a list of committee members.