In 2020, Florida did not pass a death with dignity law. The proposed rule would allow terminally ill patients to voluntarily request a prescription from their doctor for medication, ending the person’s life.
State senator Greg Steube introduced the bill in February of 2018.

The Florida House passed it on April 12, but not the Senate because of opposition led by Senator Dennis Baxley and Representative Mike Hill.
Death with Dignity is legal in Oregon, Washington State, California, Vermont, and Mexico City. The Supreme Court has ruled that physician-assisted suicide should be up to states rather than the federal government (varies from the country).

Moreover, The Supreme Court has not ruled on physician-assisted suicide. The court only recognized the state’s right to make end-of-life decisions and that there is no constitutional protection of any specific kind for an individual’s interest in refusing life-sustaining medical treatment until a person is at death’s door or further along in the dying process.

Washington Death With Dignity

Washington voters approved the Death with Dignity Act by a margin of 58% to 42% in the general election of November 2008. “This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents predicted to die within six months to request and administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.”

The measure involves two oral and one written request, two physicians who diagnose the patient and determine the patient is competent, a waiting period, and physical verification of the patient’s informed decision. Those who act in good faith would be protected from criminal and civil liability.”

Arizona Assisted Suicide

In 2017, the legislature passed SB 1439, Prohibition on Discrimination Against Health Care Entities, which prohibits discrimination against medical care providers who opt-out of assisting in dying, should that care ever be legalized. Later that same day, it was signed by the Governor.

In Arizona, the city of Bisbee became the first municipality in the state to approve aid in dying resolution, although the vote is not legally binding. The resolution states that the city of Bisbee:

  • Respects the diversity of perspectives of its citizens,
  • Supports equal protection within the diversity of perspectives on end-of-life decisions,
  • Recognizes the practice of Aid in Dying as legitimate individual liberty,
  • And, while not a legally enforceable document, the Cochise County Attorney urges prosecutorial discretion in de-prioritizing cases involving the prosecution of a person who has supported, been present, or facilitated a loved one to advance the time of his or her imminent death when facing intolerable suffering.

Massachusetts Death with Dignity Initiative

The Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) was a ballot initiative passed by The Commonwealth of Massachusetts on November sixth, 2012. The DWDA allows terminally ill patients to voluntarily request lethal doses of medication from their physician to end their lives.

The DWDA states that any person at least eighteen years old and diagnosed with less than six months left to live may request medicinal aid-in-dying drugs for self-administration; however, there are many requirements outlined before such medications can be prescribed.

The patient must:

  • Be an adult over 18 years old
  • Mentally capable
  • Have decisional capacity when requesting aid-in-dying drugs under the DWDA
  • Have a terminal diagnosis from a doctor
  • The cause of the patient’s illness must be irreversible and, without treatment, will result in death within six months
  • The request to end one’s life with aid-in-dying drugs under the DWDA must not have been made due to coercion or influence by another person.

Want to see more? Check out all the Physician Assisted Suicide laws and act