By Marcy Woodruff
As we head into the next legislative session, which begins February 11, HumanistsMN’s Social Action Team is working to make it easy for our members and followers to take action on legislation about an issue the team has identified as a priority – medical aid in dying.
The End of Life Options Act, introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate, would allow terminally ill Minnesotans to choose a prescription to bring about a peaceful death (H.F. 2152, S.F.2286). Based on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, it contains numerous safeguards to ensure that the law would not be abused and that people would not be pressured to undergo any medical procedure against their wishes. Two doctors must verify that the patient has six months or less to live, a doctor must verify that the patient is of sound mind and understands the decision, and the patient must self-administer the medication.
We plan to offer easy-to-mail postcards of support and verbiage for personal emails/calls to state legislators. (Not sure who represents you? Check here.) We’ll also announce any movement on these bills in session so we can galvanize a group to attend hearings and/or meet with legislators, both supporters and those who need a little push. Stay tuned to our social media feeds, Meetup Group, member emails, and our community gatherings for information. And, of course, feel free to reach out to your legislators now, if you’re so inclined!
The Social Action Team supports issues that promote humanist values. And our potential allies are growing. A recent Pew Research poll reveals that over a quarter of Americans identify as non-religious. That’s a formidable number of secular voices. As a growing constituency, we must ensure our values are heard by our representatives. We hope you’ll join us in supporting end-of-life options in Minnesota!
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