Editor's Note: Massachusetts voters will be asked to vote for or against three ballot measures (questions) this election cycle. State Representative Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton) has announced support of Question 2: Prescribing Medication to End Life, a.k.a. "death with dignity."
This proposed law would allow a physician licensed in Massachusetts to prescribe medication, at a terminally ill patient’s request, to end that patient’s life.
The following is a press release from the office of Rep. Kafka explaining his position. Read more about Question 2, including arguments for and against, by clicking here.
Friday, State Representative Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton) announced that he supports Question 2 on the November ballot, Death with Dignity, leading up to the election. Rep. Kafka said that this law is about offering the terminally-ill choice and control.
“As the author of the original Death with Dignity legislation in the House, filed on behalf of my constituent and friend Al Lipkind, I believe that people with terminal conditions should have the right to choose when to end their suffering in a dignified manner,” said Kafka. “I hope that voters will take some time over the weekend to read the question itself; the ads on TV and radio are very misleading. I am voting Yes on 2.”
Death with Dignity would allow terminally-ill patients, with six months or less to live, the choice to end their suffering. This law will require two doctors to verify the patient’s diagnosis and that the patient is mentally competent to make the decision. Doctor participation is completely voluntary.
Representative Kafka also questioned the opposition’s concerns.
“The opposition wants to take us backward to when terminally-ill patients died in hospitals surrounded by machines and people in white coats, rather than surrounded by their loved ones,” said Rep. Kafka. “People should have the right to choice and control if the outcome is certain and they are suffering.”
The same law has been in place for a combined 22 years in other states. In each state only about 60 terminally ill patients decide to utilize the law each year and careful tracking of the law has found not a single instance of abuse over the past 15 years.