Medical Aid in Dying legislation, Virginia HB 1649, will enable access to compassionate end of life care and should not be thought of as facilitating suicide; on the contrary, this legislation would negate the perceived need on the part of a terminally ill person to consider taking such measures into their own hands. Medical Aid in Dying resources provide a safe and effective means to allow qualified terminally ill individuals to dictate the end of their life on their terms rather than being at the “mercy” of a disease process.

Stop for a moment and imagine what you want the end of your life to look like. Most of us would envision something along the lines of “quickly, peacefully, pain-free, and surrounded by my loved ones." Very few of us would envision a protracted illness and unmitigated pain, but that is what many of us are likely to experience if we have a terminal illness.

It is unthinkable to allow for an individual with terminal illness to suffer needlessly at the end of their life when more options could be made available to them. This legislation allows for an individual to determine at what point their quality of life is no longer satisfactory and gives them the option to arrange for their peaceful end, at home, surrounded by their loved ones.

Emmaly Schmidt


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