From the Office of Representative Dylan Fernandes:
Rep. Dylan Fernandes of Falmouth testified alongside famed radio and podcast host Diane Rehm in favor of medical aid in dying in front of the Joint Committee on Public Health yesterday. Weighing in on An Act Relative to End of Life Options, Fernandes and Rehm testified that terminally ill patients who are mentally sound should have the right to end their lives with dignity.
“Everyone in our state deserves to be treated with dignity and no one should be forced to needlessly suffer at the end of their life. This is a deeply personal choice and terminally ill patients, with less than 6 months to live, should have the right to die on their own terms,” said Fernandes who testified at the hearing. “We all deserve the choice to die with dignity.”
The bill struck a personal chord with Rehm, whose husband, John Rehm, a former member of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, struggled with severe Parkinson’s disease and sought alternatives to hospice care. In the end, his only option was to stop eating, drinking, and taking his medications. “It took ten long days for him to die," Rehm said during her testimony. "I was there with him watching him grimace but knowing that he did not want to be stopped on the path he was on. In the end he died a very painful elongated death which I will never ever forget."
The legislation, filed by Senator Brownsberger and Rep. Kafka, takes every precaution to ensure that only the best interests of the patient are being served.
The bills now await a report from the Joint Committee on Public Health pending further action.