Minnesota could be next state to legalize medical aid in death

Minnesota could be the next state to legalize physician assisted suicide.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 9:55 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Minnesota could be the next state to legalize physician assisted suicide.

Senator Liz Boldon is currently one of five authors on the End-of-Life Option bill to soon start making its way through committees. Senator Boldon said because she is a nurse, she wants people to have bodily autonomy over their death.

“I want people to be able to make their own decisions up to their death and get the care they want and to have autonomy over their medical decisions and to make those decisions for themselves,” Senator Boldon said.

In order to be eligible for medical assistance in death, an individual must be 18 years or older, terminally ill with six months or less to live, and be mentally capable of making this decision for themselves.

In the proposed bill an individual wishing for this option must give two oral and one written request to their attending health care provider. The health care provider must confirm the patient’s terminal diagnosis and confirm the individuals request to end their life does not arise from coercion or undue influence. Once those are confirmed, an individual would be prescribed a lethal medication they must be able to administer themselves. However, just because an individual is prescribed the medication does not mean they must take it.

“It provides options for people who would choose this path and who want to make decisions for themselves in what their death looks like and so it’s not forcing anything on anyone else but provides options for those who choose to do it, who have capacity to make decisions for themselves, who are able to take medications themselves, it just provides options for people at the end of their life,” Senator Boldon said.

Opposing entities believe physician assisted suicide constitutes malpractice and is incompatible with ethical healthcare. Their solutions are more access to pain management and hospice care, but Senator Boldon clarified if a healthcare provider doesn’t want to medically assist death, they don’t have to provide this option.

Currently there are ten other states with legalized physician assisted suicide. Senator Boldon said she hopes this bill will make its way through committees and have a scheduled hearing date during this legislative session.