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Majority of region’s delegates oppose suicide bill

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County,Prince George's County,Anne Arundel County
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Annapolis, MD - A bill that passed on a close vote Thursday, March 7 in the Maryland House of Delegates garnered almost no support from Southern Maryland lawmakers. The End of Life Option Act, also known as the Richard E. Israel and Roger "Pip" Moyer Act, passed by a vote of 74 to 66. Only one delegate representing the three Southern Maryland counties—Delegate Susie Proctor [D-District 27A]— voted yes to the bill. The remainder of the local House Delegation—four Democrats and three Republicans—voted opposed.

According to a spokesman for Compassion & Choices, an organization which advocated for passage, the law “would give mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to get a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take if their suffering becomes intolerable, so they can die peacefully in their sleep.”

“Is it the role of government to legislate a culture of death? I don’t think so,” said Delegate Mark N. Fisher [R-District 27C]. “Once you concede that some lives are not worth living, then the criteria for "not worth living" will inevitably expand. I believe that all life matters. A society that does not value life in the beginning, will most assuredly not value life as it nears its end.”

The other members of the local delegation were contacted by TheBayNet.com for comment but had not responded as this story was being filed.

The bill now goes to the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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