Posted on : Friday March 29, 2019

From Maryland Against Physician-Assisted Suicide, a coalition of disability advocates, members of the medical community, patient advocates, and religious organizations that have joined together to advocate against physician-assisted suicide bills

“We have some great news to share with you: The Senate voted to defeat the physician-assisted suicide bill, which effectively stops the bill for this year! The final vote was 23-23, meaning it could not advance.

This would not have been possible if it weren’t for all of the help and support that you contributed over the past few months. As we have said time and time again, there is no more effective way to influence legislation than to contact your legislators directly. And that is exactly what you did!

“This is a great victory for everyone who fought so hard to educate Maryland legislators about why physician-assisted suicide is unnecessary, dangerous, and wrong for our residents. Together we showed that, even though this is an extremely controversial issue when legislators really learn about the details of this proposal, and especially its lack of safeguards for our most vulnerable residents, they see that it should not pass. That’s why we succeeded.

“Thank you all for your hard work to defeat the bill! This result would not have been possible without you.”

MARCH 20 UPDATE TO THIS STORY —  Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will vote on March 21 on the bill that would legalize assisted suicide. Several senators are undecided, and a phone call or email can help swing the vote. If this bill advances, assisted suicide could become a reality in Maryland. Out-of-state interests have targeted Maryland for advancing the legalization of physician-assisted suicide with no regard for Marylanders who are terminally ill, elderly, or living with a disability or a mental illness. Those monitoring this issue say that proponents of this bill have publicly said that any amendments that seek to protect the people of Maryland would be “excessive” and they want no changes — not even protections for those with mental illness. You can make your voice heard easily. Click below to urge key members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to reject assisted suicide and SB 311/HB 399.    TAKE ACTION

MARCH 11 UPDATE TO THIS STORY—  The “End of Life Option Act,” has progressed through the House of Delegates, and is now in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee for consideration. Those monitoring this issue say there is still time to stop the bill, but we need everyone who is opposed to assisted suicide to speak up.

The committee chairman, Senator Bobby Zirkin, has the ability to stop the advance of the bill and he needs to hear from you and your thoughts about its true impact. If it progresses out of the Senate committee, the bill will be harder to defeat

The “Action Link” below is an easy, quick way to make your voice heard. Please take action quickly.

Action Link:

And if you have time, please consider calling each of the members listed below to share your thoughts about why this bill is a danger to Maryland and must not be passed. A direct call to the Committee, asking key members to vote NO on the bill, SB 311, would make the most impact.

Contacts of individual members:

Chairman Bobby Zirkin (D-11)

Phone: 410-841-3131


Senator Jill Carter (D-41)

Phone: 410-841-3697


Senator Katie Fry Hester (D-9)

Phone: 410-841-3671


Senator Susan Lee (D-16)

Phone: 410-841-3124


Senator Mary Washington (D-43)

Phone: 410-841-3145


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — On March 1, the House Health and Government Operations Committee and the Judiciary Committee jointly passed the “End of Life Option Act,” HB399, by a vote of 24-20. A vote in the full house of delegates is expected TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6TH. This was a close vote and calls, letters, emails and other contacts with legislators can stop the passage of this bill.

This vote was considered in Delaware last year and Jenifer Briemann, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, and a member Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide, said Maryland/Delaware Baptists’ effort helped swing the votes for that bill to be rejected.

“While the vote on March 1 was disappointing to all those who have worked hard to protect Maryland from the dangerous practice of physician-assisted suicide, the issue is far from decided,” said Jennifer Briemann, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference in an interview with the Catholic Standard. “The more people who speak up now and tell their elected officials to stand against physician-assisted suicide, the better chance we have of making sure it remains out of Maryland.”

If passed, this bill would allow terminally ill patients to be prescribed a lethal dose of a controlled dangerous substance, which they would then pick-up at their local pharmacy and ingest without medical supervision to end their life.

This bill, in addition to having no regard for the worth and dignity of every human life, establishes suicide as a societal norm, places large quantities of Schedule II prescription drugs into our communities with no measures in place for take-back or disposal, and leaves those suffering from mental illness, persons with intellectual disabilities, and our elderly at risk of coercion and undue influence by family members or caregivers.
If we are to stop this bill, we must do so now. Please plan to call and email your delegates before the house votes on Wednesday morning, March 6. Your voice will make the difference and our lawmakers need to hear from you. Respectfully tell them that you oppose House Bill 399 and that you urge them to vote no against legalizing assisted suicide in Maryland. Please take action today in defense of Life!

Here is a sample email that you can use as an example as well as add your personal feelings.

As your constituent, I am asking you to reject the dangerous practice of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in our state. Maryland has already rejected similar bills multiple times. As my elected representative, I am asking you to oppose The End of Life Options Act HB 399.
Assisted suicide is a danger to Maryland. Allowing doctors to prescribe large and lethal doses of drugs with no protection to make sure those drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands or on our streets puts us all at risk. We need fewer drugs on our streets, not more.
I’m also concerned about the elderly, our veterans, people with disabilities, and those diagnosed with a terminal illness who may be pressured to end their lives early if this becomes a so-called “option” in Maryland. At any given moment, we may find ourselves in a situation where we need others to care for us if we become sick, disabled or elderly. Our state should focus on making it easier to get quality treatment and care, not to end our lives.
There is no way to fix this bill. And if it were to pass, HB 399 would put us all in danger.
For these reasons, I am asking you to please vote NO, and oppose HB 399.

Find your delegates here.