Will North Dakota Ever Support Death-With-Dignity Options?
North Dakota showed little to no support to "end of life" legislation as in 2021 the H.B. 1415 failed to get out of the state house of representatives. Here's an example of some of the wording...
1. Examine the patient and the patient's relevant medical records and confirm, in writing, the consulting physician agrees with the attending physician's diagnosis that the patient is suffering from a terminal disease;
2. Verify in writing the patient is capable, is acting voluntarily, and has made an informed decision; and
3. Refer the patient to counseling, if appropriate, pursuant to section 23 - 06.7 - 06.
If it had passed, nolo.com suggests it would have been similar to Oregon's Death With Dignity Law which allows terminally ill patients that meet certain criteria to ask for and use life-ending medication. There are subtle differences between right-to-die, death-with-dignity, end-of-life, assisted suicide, and euthanasia but most require the cooperation of the "patient".
Living wills are on the increase.
A Gallup poll indicates that 45% of Americans have a living will and that number is up 5% in the last 15 years. A living will gives you legal ground to state your wishes for end-of-life medical care in case you can not communicate yourself. Gallup's results also indicate strong support for euthanasia with 3 out of 4 Americans supporting the idea.
The poll also included Gallup's annual update on Americans' views of euthanasia. Seventy-four percent of U.S. adults say doctors should be allowed to end the life of a patient with an incurable disease "by some painless means" if the patient and the patient's family requests it.
If there is so much support across the country then why do only ten states and Washington D.C. have laws implemented to actually authorize the process? I'm quite certain it's a bit of a political hot potato as Gallup also shows that for those that attend church weekly support for euthanasia drops to 55%. I know many statistics are created to confuse, but according to the arguably biased compassion and choices.org voters are fans of politicians that are in favor of addressing death-with-dignity issues.
The poll shows voters nationwide are 8 times “more likely” (51%) than “less likely (6%) to vote for a candidate for the state legislature if they sponsor or support” medical aid-in-dying legislation.
Minnesota is also attempting to pass legislation that would address the issue. I think it's time we share our thoughts with those in government or those running for office. They may see that inaction and avoidance are possibly more politically perilous than voting their hearts and minds.