“Death with Dignity” bill may come back next year

Voters rejected similar proposal in 2012 ballot question

(AP Photo/Emory University, Jack Kearse)

BOSTON (WWLP) – The controversial and emotional debate surrounding end-of-life decisions is expected to resurface on Beacon Hill again next year. After several failed attempts, State Representative Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton) plans to file the so-called “Death with Dignity” bill again in 2017.

The proposal has yet to make it past the committee process in Massachusetts. The controversial bill would give ailing patients the option to end their life on their own terms.

Under the legislation, doctors would be able to prescribe life-ending drugs to patients with a prognosis of less than six months to live.

Massachusetts voters narrowly rejected a similar proposal in a 2012 ballot question.

Kafka told 22News that this proposal is about giving people who are dying the right to decide how and when to live their lives.

“They can opt out. If they go through the process and at the very end decide ‘I can’t do this’ – they can opt out and not do it,” Kafka said.

Oregon, Washington, and Vermont have passed similar laws.