Three years ago, Brittany Maynard’s viral video launched the issue of medically assisted suicide into the national spotlight. But while advocates have notched a few wins since then, they’ve also run up against some strong, bipartisan resistance.
Two states — California and Colorado — have made it legal for doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients since Maynard, diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, publicized her decision to end her life. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in six states, including Vermont, Oregon, Washington and Montana, as well as the District.
Yet none of the 27 states where such measures were introduced this year passed them into law, according to tracking done by Compassion and Choices, a group that backs assisted suicide. The bills were either quashed in committee or passed one legislative chamber but not the other. That was the case even in states run by Democrats, including Connecticut, Rhode Island and Hawaii.