2016 Bills

HB 264: Allowing Terminally Ill Patients Access to End-of-Life Options

This bill was not considered by the legislature.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck is sponsoring House Bill 264 to allow terminally ill patients the option of using life-ending drugs to avoid prolonged suffering.

Suicide is not a good idea. There are many resources available for those who are struggling personally with thoughts of suicide. However, the question of this bill is not the endorsement of the morality of suicide but rather the endorsement of criminal penalties for doctors who allow patients to access self-administered medications to terminate their own lives. Doctors should not be punished because they allow terminally ill patients to access life ending drugs. This bill merely codifies the procedures and controls that doctors must follow if allowing patients to access such drugs.

If a terminally ill patient does not want to prolong the suffering in their life, they should not be prevented from accessing life-ending drugs through a doctor. However, if doctors are asked to prescribe such drugs, they should undertake extreme care in ensuring that such patients are of sound mind and making such decisions voluntarily and with full knowledge of the consequences. This bill ensures that in order for doctors to be exempt from legal ramifications, they need to follow very tight and specific procedures before fulfilling the voluntary request of a terminally ill patient to obtain self-administered, life ending drugs.