HB789, The End of Life Option Act, introduced!

North Carolina has now become the latest state considering enactment of Death with Dignity legislation.  On April 11, 2017, four State Representatives, Harrison (D-57), Fisher (D-114), Meyer (D-50) and Insko (D-56), introduced HB789, almost exactly two years after the introduction of HB611.

Dying Right NC worked closely with Representative Harrison, whose passionate advocacy for an enlightened approach to End of Life choices is inspirational.  This bill introduces several safeguards intended to address concerns expressed by the law’s opponents.

For example the bill requires both witnesses at the time a written request for an Aid in Dying drug is made, must be independent and at least one must be a resident of NC, as must be the case for the patient-applicant.  The bill also criminalizes any actions interfering with an individual’s decision to ingest an Aid in Dying drug, such as by destroying the prescription or the drug itself.  It introduces a new voluntary role of Attending Witness to be nominated by the patient applicant to be present at the time of ingestion to make sure there is not coercion or duress.

It is not clear how far HB789 will go during this legislative session.  No Death with Dignity law has been enacted in a southern, Bible belt red state, but we are confident that the majority of North Carolinians favor this bill and we will undertake to make sure their legislators are aware of their preference.

The text of the bill is provided here.

3 Replies to “HB789, The End of Life Option Act, introduced!”

    1. Hello Vanessa
      Congressman Jones would not be able directly to help as the measure will be debated in Raleigh by the State Representatives. If you have a relationship with Congressman Jones, for whom I have the highest regard, and he knows some Republican State Reps, yes, that would be immensely useful. In the meantime, if you can write to your State Rep urging him/her to support the bill, and if you can contact any friends/colleagues/family you have in State who can contact their State Reps in turn urging support for HB789, that is the only hope for the bill moving forward. The GOP is in control of the Raleigh State House. And so far, only 4 Democratic State Reps have co-signed the bill. We need to get some bipartisan support to make sure the GOP Leadership will not table the bill to death. It’s all hands on deck for supporters. Your help can well make all the difference.

    2. Hi Vanessa
      Congressman Jones would not be able to weigh in on passing a state law, as he is your Federal congressman. What would be most helpful is if you could contact your local State Rep and State Senator to write/call them to support HB789 and to ask that even if they can’t vote for the bill, that they at least urge the GOP leadership in the House (Speaker Moore; Rules Chairman Lewis; Majority Whip Hardister) to bring HB789 to a public hearing.


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