At the annual Orange County Democratic Party convention on Sat, March 30, 2019 in Hillsborough, a resolution calling for enactment of MAID legislation was unanimously adopted. Orange County’s elected officials have consistently been supportive of such efforts, and Rep Graig Meyer and Verla Insko have been primary sponsors of all legislative efforts in the past. Nevertheless, it is further evidence that there is widespread support for this alternative End of Life Option for those facing a terminal illness. The approved resolution follows:
24. SUPPORTING LEGALIZATION OF MEDICAL AID IN DYING (“MAID”) IN NORTH CAROLINA
WHEREAS, Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) describes a procedure where a terminally ill adult suffering from an incurable disease, otherwise of sound mind, diagnosed by two doctors as having six months to live or less may have a prescription filled by a licensed physician with an aid in dying drug; and
WHEREAS, under MAID, any participating doctor or pharmacist acting in compliance with the numerous statutory safeguards listed above will be immune from criminal, civil or administrative liability; and
WHEREAS, MAID has been legalized since 1997 in 8 US jurisdictions (OR, WA, CA, MT, CO, VT, HI and DC) providing a vital option for terminally ill individuals who opt to die at the time and place of their choosing, surrounded by friends and family; and
WHEREAS, yearly Gallup polling data consistently show that over 70% of Americans, including a significant majority of almost all demographic groups, support the legalization of MAID as one End of Life option among several; and
WHEREAS, states which have legalized MAID have seen enhanced overall End of Life care and pain management by prompting honest discussions between patient and physician;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Orange County Democratic Party (OCDP) urges the North Carolina legislature to enact Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) legislation similar to Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, to allow mentally competent, adult North Carolinians diagnosed with less than six (6) months to live due to an incurable terminal illness, to have one more option at the End of Life.
Ed Tiryakian, J.D., MBA, founded Dying Right NC in 2015 and is its Executive Director. He previously worked in international banking in Asia before retiring to his native NC.He believes End of Life issues are one of society’s most pressing challenges as we all live longer and the medicalization of the dying process continues to conflict with the individual’s right to choose his or her end.