The Maryland Legislature is set to once again take up the issue of medical aid in dying this session, and the prospects for its passage look promising. According to new polling conducted by Gonzales Research, support for the bill has increased over previous years, with 71% of Maryland voters now in favor of it, up from 69% in 2021.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher, D-Montgomery County, aims to legalize medical aid in dying, with safeguards in place to ensure that it is not a choice made lightly. There is also a companion version of the bill in the House, and committee hearings with testimony from supporters and opponents are scheduled for early March.

Pollsters found support increased to 74% when people polled were informed 10 other states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the practice. Credit: Adobe Stock

The movement to push for the legislation has grown, with ten states plus the District of Columbia having already legalized medical aid in dying. Waldstreicher believes that the prospects for the bill to pass this term are excellent, as many of his colleagues have experienced the issue with their own parents or loved ones and want to ensure that this option is available to them.

“This is not a choice that can or should be made lightly,” Waldstreicher acknowledged. “It involves big questions about the nature of human existence, but also needs rules to provide guardrails, and we have those rules in this legislation.”

Support for the bill was strong among pro-choice voters, with 82% in favor, while 49% of pro-life voters also supported the measure. Governor Wes Moore has also expressed his support for the bill earlier this year, stating that the state should protect people’s ability to make independent decisions about the suffering they are enduring.

“I’m so honored to have his support,” Waldstreicher added. “Hopefully my colleagues will see his support and consider it in making their own decision.”

The Maryland Senate came within one vote of passing a medical aid-in-dying bill in 2019. With the increased support and backing from the governor, Waldstreicher and his colleagues are hopeful that the bill will finally pass this session, providing individuals with the option to make a decision about their own end-of-life care. The committee hearings in early March will provide an opportunity for supporters and opponents to voice their opinions, and it remains to be seen whether this issue will be resolved once and for all.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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