A Plea to Speaker Tim Moore

NC House Speaker Tim Moore

For several years now, a bill to legalize Medical Aid in Dying has been introduced in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives. The proposal seeks to emulate the laws in 11 US jurisdictions by allowing a terminally ill, mentally competent adult to have access to a Terminal Comfort Care Drug, allowing a benevolent hastening of death... nothing more than an acceptance of a medical reality on one's own terms. The law provides legal immunity to any professional (doctor, nurse, pharmacist) or loved one who follows the letter of the law to help a dying person in their moment of need. The message from those seeking passage of these laws is clear-- and should appeal to Republicans and Democrats in equal measure: the government has no right to interfere in how I choose to end my suffering when the inevitable is around the corner.
And yet for the last four legislative sessions, these bills have been bottlenecked in the Rules Committee, where they have died a most undignified death, without even the courtesy of a jurisdictional committee assignment, without the opportunity of proponents and opponents to weigh in and inform their legislator what they think. One might suppose that such stonewalling is because the proposals only carry Democratic support. But the last two sessions, the bills HB789 and HB780 have had bipartisan support.
It is too late this year for HB780 introduced in May 2021 to come up for a vote. It is not too late, though, for Speaker Moore to commission a legislative study, a necessary and needed first step in allowing North Carolina to wrestle with this difficult but imperative End of Life issue-- who exactly controls one's own death: doctors, the Church, morals, one's family, tradition... or one's self?
We therefore humbly ask Speaker Moore to authorize a legislative study this year to at least allow the discussion to start, to allow any of the dozens of distraught loved ones to testify as to their experiences, and on the other side, to allow opponents to argue why the status quo trumps personal choice. Please Speaker Moore, use your authority to give voice to these many North Carolinians ready to open their hearts.