Skeptics believe there is no longer an urgency to enacting a MAID law in NC, given that there remain several viable options for wirting one's end-of-life narrative. A North Carolinian always had the option of moving to a MAID state and establishing residency, cumbersome as that would be. But now, both Oregon and Vermont have opened their doors to non-residents, meaning with a little advance planning, a terminally ill, mentally competent adult could reolcate to either state and apply immediately for the medicine.
Additonally, there has always been the option of VSED, a 10-15 day process which does work unfortunately an excrutiating burden on the loved one tasked with looking over the dying individual. In certain cases, people in NC can call on Final Exit Network which educates qualifeid individuals on the use of inert gas to provoke a near immediate passing. And there is always the wink-and-nod approach of stockpiling meds in anticipation of an overdose. Often, then when asked to promote MAID legislation, legislators answer: "But given the multitiude of available options, is legislation really necessary?"
The answer is surprisingnly, yes!! Overwhelmingly Yes! Urgently Yes!
First, consider the legal vulnerability of people who are invovled in any of these steps. While there is no lawin NC prohibiting assisting someone who decides to take their life when faced with a terminal disease, it is equaly true that an officious objection to such plans can lead to the intervention of Law Enforcement which has an obligaiton to prevent people harming themselves. Should a relative of the would-be decedent go before a magistrate and claim the "loved one" planning on harming themself, a guardian could be appointed to oversee the welfare of the person. The would-be decdeent could suddenly find themself under te tutelage of a legally appointed guardian, deciding the person's every daily movement.
Alternatively, consider the scenario where an individual procures an Aid in Dying or Terminal Comfort Care drug in VT or OR, or after establishing residency in a MAID state. The individual wishes to die peacefully at home, surrounded by friends and family, faciliationg the subsequent burial instruciotns to a local cemetery. They prepare a pre-death wake... when suddenly a politically detemined local District Attorney wades into the fray and concocts some hoary common law charge against those "assisting" the person, perhaps even embellishing the charge to homicide (as has happened in other states). Far-fetched? to be sure. Likely? not at all. Possible? Yes indeed.
Furthermore, nothing will prevent the death as being recorded a suicide, unlike the situaiton in the MAID states.
In short, without the protection of a legally enacted MAID statute, North Carolinians do have options to write their end of life narrative, but not the security of knowing it will be a seamless and risk-less procedure. Dying is an unpleasant enough expericne for both the decedent and their loved ones. Adding the meance of legal imbroglios only makes it that much worse.