ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Death With Dignity advocates are back in Annapolis to pass legislation giving terminally ill patients the option to end their own lives.
This is the third time around for Death With Dignity advocates in Maryland, and despite the opposition they’ve met in years past, they feel this is their time.
“This is a tough issue, we know that,” says Senator Guy Guzzone, a Montgomery County Democrat.
But Alexa Fraser sees the alternative as even tougher. Her ailing father shot himself.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh his ultimate success proves that this bill is not needed,'” she says. “I’d like to ask them to compare the experience of holding your loved one’s hand as they drift off to the experience my husband had walking into my dad’s room and finding his body.”
The bill would allow those with six months or less to live to get life-ending prescription medicine, an option Fraser now wants for herself.
Last month she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer.
“And now I know what I will die of,” she says. “I don’t know when, But I do know what will take my life and it won’t be pretty.”
The Maryland Catholic Conference is part of a coalition in opposition to the bill.
“It continues to trouble us and our coalition that the same lawmakers that claim to be champions for society’s most vulnerable population, the intellectually and developmentally disabled, the elderly, those suffering from mental illness, would introduce a bill that so clearly sets those populations up for abuse, coersion and undue influence,” says Jennifer Briemann, associate director of the conference.
Supports are once again ready to tackle that argument.
A Maryland State Medical Society survey found that six out of 10 of its doctors support changing its position on aid in dying and instead of opposing it, will remain neutral.