State Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D–Columbus) will soon introduce legislation that will allow mentally competent Ohioans with a terminal condition to request and self-administer medication to end their life peacefully after meeting a series of requirements. The bill is modeled after similar laws in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Vermont and Washington DC.

“It is time we recognize the rights of dying and suffering patients to control their own end-of-life decisions,” said Senator Tavares. “Death with Dignity means exactly that: allowing patients to determine the time and manner of their death when they have reached the point where medical care can only keep them alive without the interactions of loved ones that make life worth living.”

To make sure that the patient is in control of the process, a number of conditions have to be met. These include:

Across the nation, similar laws have led to better care for terminally ill patients, improved access to pain relieving treatments and the quality of hospice care.

“Through my extensive research, I have discovered that in Oregon this law has worked effectively and safely for the past 20 years,” said Senator Tavares. “The Death with Dignity Act is rarely used, and yet today Oregon leads the nation in the number of people who die at home, surrounded by loved ones, and those who receive hospice care and are able to make their own choices at the end of their life. I want to bring this same level of comfort and peace of mind to the people of Ohio.”

Similar laws are currently being considered in Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey and New York.

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