The controversial end-of-life method was defeated in the Senate Thursday.

Assisted suicide bill dies in Senate

Jarek RutzGovernment, Headlines

The controversial end-of-life method was defeated in the Senate Thursday.

The controversial end-of-life method was defeated in the Senate Thursday.

A controversial bill that would give terminally ill people the right to end their lives failed to pass the Delaware Senate Thursday.

House Bill 140, sponsored by Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark, would have permitted a terminally ill adult resident of Delaware to request and self-administer medication to end the individual’s life in a humane and dignified manner.

The medication is typically a solution that a patient takes orally.

Under HB 140, both the individual’s attending physician or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and a consulting physician or nurse would have to agree on an individual’s diagnosis and prognosis and believe the individual has decision-making capacity, is making an informed decision, and is acting voluntarily. 

This method is often referred to as “assisted suicide” or “assisted dying.”

The topic has been rejected multiple times in recent years by the General Assembly. 

The bill’s defeat came as something of a shock, because it was sponsored by a Democrat and most of those bills fly through the Senate because of the Democrat super majority.

Opponents of the bill have cited mostly religious reasons for their opposition. Some have said they feared unscrupulous family members or guardians would coerce sick or disabled relatives into committing suicide.

The vote was nine ‘yes’ and nine ‘no,’ with the nay votes coming from five Republicans and four Democrats. 

Those who voted no are Sen. Darius Brown, D-Wilmington; Sen. Spiros Mantzavinos D-Newport; Sen. Jack Walsh, D-Wilmington; Sen. Nicole Poore, D-Delaware City; Sen. Bryant Richardson R-Seaford; Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark; Sen. Eric Buckson, R-Dover, Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel; and Sen. Dave Wilson, R-Lincoln. 

“I do not take my No vote lightly,” said Wilson. “I do believe the efforts of those who support this legislation are being done in good faith. I could not, however, bring myself to support HB 140 due to the easing of safeguards seen in other states across our nation.”

Townsend changed his vote from ‘yes’ to ‘no,’ which is allows him to bring the bill back to the floor for consideration within three legislative days, meaning by or on next Thursday, June 27.

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