Maine Death with Dignity logo

Maine’s legislature passed Death with Dignity legislation. Governor Mills just signed it making Maine the ninth jurisdiction to pass a Death with Dignity law. This means that 20% of Americans may obtain medical aid in dying. But terminally ill Ohioans do not have this option yet.

Let’s use Maine’s experience to raise media and public interest.

Here we have listed some EASY things you can do to help raise awareness in Ohio about Death with Dignity laws. See below for information about writing a letter to your local newspaper’s editor, posting on social media and contacting your state legislators.

We know there is popular support because of the social media response in April after the passing of the New Jersey Aid in Dying law.  Both and posted on Facebook asking for the thoughts of their followers. There were over 1,600 reactions to each post, the vast majority were positive. There were over 400 comments and shares. Here’s one representative example:

It’s just logical to me. My dad was terminally ill and many times mentioned that he wished he could do this. While I wish every day he was still here… I also am happy he is out of pain and no longer struggling. (He had) No quality of life.

Each opportunity to raise awareness about Aid in Dying in Ohio is important.

Here are some ways to do that:

Dear _____,

[Tailor this paragraph with your experience.] I was with my father when he died after having cancer for years. He was treated with chemotherapy and had many surgeries before being told there were no more effective treatments. After enrolling in hospice, he said that he would feel much better knowing that he would be able to control his death if his suffering grew too great.

The Maine legislature just passed a Death with Dignity law that allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult to obtain medical aid in dying.  Maine joins seven states and the District of Columbia in passing such a law. Now, one in five people in the U.S., when death is certain and imminent, can seek and obtain a prescription that they can take themselves to die peacefully. The laws have many safeguards to insure that there is no coercion and that the person is acting voluntarily.  The dying person is in control of whether to seek the prescription, whether to fill it, and whether to use it.

Ohioans should have the same option.  Polling in 2018 showed that a large, bipartisan majority of Ohioans favor such legislation, no matter their religious beliefs.

I urge you to cover this story and those of terminally ill Ohioans asking for this option that, in addition to hospice care, allows for peace and comfort when death is imminent.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *