HB877: A Study Bill for MAID Presents Golden Opportunity

Primary Sponsor Hon Pricey Harrison of Greensboro

Primary Sponsor, Hon Pricey Harrison (D-Greensboro)

Primary Sponsor Hon Donny Lambeth of Winston Salem

Primary Sponsor, Hon Donny Lambeth (R-Winston Salem)

Primary Sponsor John Faircloth of Greensboro

Primary Sponsor Hon John Faircloth (R-Greensboro)

Primary Sponsor Hon Julia Howard of Mocksville

Primary Sponsor Hon Julia Howard (R-Mocksville)

On April 26, 2023, on the very last day on which new bills could be introduced, HB877 was filed calling for the NC Institute of Health to undertake a one year study of the advisability of enacting MAID legislation in North Carolina.  With four primary Sponsors, Hon Pricey Harrison (D-Greensboro); Hon Donny Lambeth (R-Winston-Salem); Hon John Faircloth (R-Greensboro), and Hon Julia Howard (R-Mocksville), and 10 Democrat co-sponsors, HB877 has a greater chance of reaching a vote in the House than any MAID-legislative proposals in the past four legislative sessions.

Unlike prior efforts, this bill does not ask legislators to enact MAID legislation; but rather simply to ask an expert authority to make enquiries and report back, thus allowing a future legislature to weigh the pros and cons.  There is no reason other than obscurantism and a desire to hide behind the curtains to oppose an effort to engage experts to fully investigate how MAID has been working across the 11 US jurisdictions with a collective 50 years of experience. Are there confirmed cases of aberrations, misuse, abuse which have escaped the battery of built-in safeguards?  Is the oft cited fear of a slippery slope a paper tiger or a legitimate concern?

HB877 outlines some 15 areas of inquiry, including a catch-all allowing the Institute of  Health to inquire in "any other areas... deemed relevant of helpful to determining whether to legalize MAID in NC.  It represents the most promising opportunity legislatively to advance the cause of MAID in NC, since even those with reservations or concerns must surely see the advisability of fully studying the data and history of this end of life option before legislating.

For those asking what they can do to advance this bill, there is no question that writing directly NOW to their state legislator encouraging support for the bill is the single most useful step.  Please look up your state legislator here, and write/text/call to urge support for HB 877.