Monday, April 10, 2023
Pennsylvania Legislators Discuss Proposed Legislation on Compassionate Aid in Dying with Penn State Dickinson Law Students
It is getting near the end of the semester, but we are continuing to have important topics and guest speakers at Penn State Dickinson Law in our Elder Law modules. Today's speakers were Representative Tarik Khan and Representative Carol Hill-Evams. who led the discussion about a bill they are sponsoring on Compaasionate Aid in Dying for Pennsylvania. Representative Hill-Evans is the lead sponsor on the current version and opened the session with a powerful story about a constituent who explained her reasons for promoting this law.
Pennsylvania House Bill 543 was introduced in March 2023 and is currently assigned to the Health Committee of the Pennsylvania House. We heard that plans are underway to begin hearings, with people tesstifying why they do -- or don't -- want to see a legal option enacted that makes it possible for a person who is terminally ill to choose "medical assistance in dying." After class, two of the students approached me with good suggestions about potential clarifications for the new bill, thus contiinguing the conversation with the legislators.
Next week is our last class of the semester, where students will be giving oral presentations on various Death with Dignity laws or movements, both in the United States and in outher nations, as well as presenting on other choices people may consider near the end of their lives.
Our speacial thanks to all of our guests during this busy semester, including legislators, Elder Law attorneys, the owner of a funeral home, and representatives from hospice and other health care providers.