Dozens testify, turnout in opposition to physician-assisted suicide

Dozens of people wearing nearly every shade of green crammed into the Judicial Proceedings wing of the Miller Senate building in Annapolis on Friday, Feb. 28 to oppose the proposed physician-assisted suicide bill (SB 701), also known as the "End of Life Options Act."

More than 40 people testified against the bill, expressing opposition to the risks posed by legalizing assisted suicide, the bill's lack of safeguards for vulnerable populations, its direct affront to medical ethics, and more. Dozens more attended the hearing to stand in solidarity with the many communities who the bill puts at grave risk — including those with disabilities, veterans, the elderly and those struggling with prescription drug addiction — in opposition to its advancing. The Senate had to provide an overflow room to accommodate the vast number of people who attended the hearing.

"The large number of people who came on Friday to testify or simply stand up against the 'End of Life Options Act' is a testament to just how dangerous this bill is for Maryland and how many Marylanders do not want to see it become the law of our state," said Jenny Kraska, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. "We are grateful to everyone who took the time to come to Annapolis and show the large, powerful opposition to assisted suicide. Your voices were heard!" 

For those who were unable to attend the hearing or to testify, the Conference — together with the Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide Coalition — encourages everyone to send their Maryland State Senator a message in opposition to the bill. To send a message CLICK HERE. 

As of March 2, the House of Delegates has not scheduled a hearing on its version of the bill, HB 643. Both chambers only have until March 16 to consider and pass legislation out of their chamber and over to the other chamber for consideration. In order for a bill to become law in Maryland, it must be passed by both chambers of the General Assembly. . 

To follow along with the issue and receive any action alerts, please CLICK HERE to join the Catholic Advocacy Network.