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Maryland lawmakers will withdraw aid-in-dying legislation

Erin Cox
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Aid in dying legislation will be withdrawn in Annapolis as the sponsors cite a lack of support.

For the third year in a row, Democratic lawmakers have given up on passing aid-in-dying legislation that would let some terminally ill patients legally end their lives.

The measure's two sponsors said they will withdraw their "death with dignity" bill, citing insufficient political support in the House of Delegates.

Advocates say it's a humane choice for people of sound mind who have a devastating prognosis. Opponents, including religious groups and the disability community, say it is immoral and lacks sufficient protections for vulnerable people.

Until 2009, just one state — Oregon — allowed the practice. Now, five states have approved assisted dying statutes and legislation has been proposed in several others.

Maryland first seriously considered the proposal in 2015, but it has been withdrawn without a vote each year. Del. Shane Pendergrass and Sen. Guy Guzzone, both Howard County Democrats, said they do not have enough support to pass the bill.

ecox@baltsun.com

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