FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2015
Juneau – Today, Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) filed legislation to provide terminally ill patients with the freedom to make personal healthcare choices.
House Bill 99 – “An Act relating to the voluntary termination of life by terminally ill individuals” allows terminally ill patients to ease suffering and hasten an inevitable and certain death. The bill preserves dignity and a person’s right to live, and die, on their own terms according to their own desires and beliefs.
“This is not suicide,” said Rep. Drummond. “It is an option for people who are already dying. This bill is for people who are experiencing so much pain that their quality of life is completely degraded.”
H.B. 99 ensures that the patient and no one else is the only decision maker in the process. Only terminally-ill patients who are diagnosed with six months or less to live may request to use this law to hasten their death. The primary physician’s diagnosis must be certified by a consulting physician, which ensures accurate prognosis. There are also safeguards in place protect against coercion for those who are vulnerable.
“Everyone deserves the right to make their own end-of-life choices,” said Rep. Drummond. “It’s a personal, family matter and this bill recognizes that. The goal is to increase patient control and reduce unwanted and often unnecessary interventions at the end of life.”
H.B. 99 has been referred to the Health and Social Services and Judiciary Committees.
For more information, contact Kristin Kranendonk in Rep. Drummond’s office at 907-465-3875.