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National Healthcare Decisions Day – April 16

Previous posts have talked about you controlling your final moments and also how you want to be remembered.  April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day and provides a reminder that having a living will in which you express your wishes regarding life-prolonging procedures or choosing not to have a living will are crucial components in every estate plan.

To that end, during this past legislative session of the General Assembly of Maryland, a bill was introduced that would authorize a qualified individual to request aid in dying.  The Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer End of Life Option Act would have allowed individuals meeting certain criteria to request and receive from their physician a lethal dose of a particular medication.  The bill was withdrawn from consideration as it lacked enough support, but not before sparking public conversation about the topic.  At this juncture, there are four states that have death with dignity statutes: Washington, Oregon, Vermont and California.  In fact, California’s statute is so new it will only take effect in June.  Montana does not have a statute, but a 2009 Montana Supreme Court case permitted a physician to prescribe a fatal dose of medication to a terminal individual thereby making the practice legal.

Regardless of your position on death with dignity statutes, end of life decision-making and advance healthcare planning is an important conversation to have and to share with your loved ones and National Healthcare Decisions Day helps remind us of the need to begin the dialog on the subject.  @deathwdignity @NHDD #livingwill #estateplanning #endoflife #advancedirective #NHDD

© 2019 Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.


About this Author

Catherine F. Schott Murray, Estate Attorney, Odin Feldman

Catherine F. Schott Murray appreciates that every client’s situation is unique and requires solutions that are adapted to their particular needs, goals, and objectives. She takes the time to carefully listen to her clients and discuss decisions that are not always straightforward, ultimately reaching an appropriate resolution that is pertinent to each client. Catherine is professional, yet compassionate, while carefully explaining complex matters during potentially trying times. She is an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and serves on the Board of...

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