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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Delaware advances medical aid-in-dying bill

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Monday, May 6, 2024   

Advocates supporting the legalization of medical aid in dying in Delaware are optimistic following the recent passage of House Bill 140. It is now under consideration in the state Senate.

If passed, the bill would allow terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to choose medical aid in dying as part of their advanced directives.

Judy Govatos, a patient and advocate for medical aid in dying, explained the proposed law would give terminally ill patients the power to decide how they want to handle their end-of-life care.

"This isn't just about me," Govatos pointed out. "It's about understanding that dying is a very vital part of life. And the legacy we leave has to do with beginnings and endings. And there's a beginning and ending to death and then a beginning again."

Govatos acknowledged the opposition from religious groups, stressing the legislation respects diverse beliefs while offering options for those who do not find solace in enduring pain. The Catholic Bishops of Maryland wrote in a statement, "Human life is created in the image and likeness of God and therefore sacred." They also wrote medical progress in pain management allows for enhanced comfort for the terminally ill and can "improve the quality of the remainder of their lives."

Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion & Choices, shared the stories of Heather Block and Ron Silverio, the two Delaware residents who advocated for the medical aid-in-dying law but died suffering without being able to access it. She said their stories demonstrated the urgency of passing the legislation, as there are real people behind the legislative inaction.

"When you have legislation that benefits people and harms nobody, there's really no reason not to move forward," Callinan argued. "Our hope is that lawmakers can see the people behind this bill and recognize that the time is now to pass this legislation in Delaware."

Currently, medical aid in dying is legal in 10 U.S. states: Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, California and Hawai'i as well as in Washington, D.C.

Disclosure: Compassion & Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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