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Status of end-of-life legislation
In January, Compassion & Choices and Compassion & Choices Action Network (CCAN) introduced a portrait display, “They Died Waiting,” that highlighted the stories of Connecticut residents who could have benefited from access to medical aid in dying but died without this compassionate option. The exhibit featured 17 advocates
fighting for their loved ones who died waiting, people like Jill Hammerberg and Joy Cipollo. It was on display at the Connecticut State Capitol until February 1, and we continue to promote the stories and exhibit via social media.
CCAN has been working closely with the bill sponsor to update the legislation to address lawmakers’ concerns in a manner that will still allow dying people to access the law.
On February 22, SB1076, the Senate’s Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients (SB1076) was introduced.
See our bill summary. The Public Health Committee held a public hearing for the bill
on February 27. The hearing lasted over 10 hours and had 122 people signed up to testify.] On Friday, March 10, the Public Health Committee voted SB1076 favorably out of their committee with a 25-12 vote. The bill will sit for a brief period before being referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Connecticut lawmakers are also considering SB1075, An Act Concerning Hospice and Palliative Care, which establishes a pilot program to provide hospice care to patients in the home through a combination of in-person visits and telehealth.
We are also supporting this legislation and testified at its hearing on February 27.
CCAN supports both bills.
In advance of the hearing, Rep. Steinberg has invited CCAN staff and volunteers to speak at his press conference. This includes Kim Callinan, president and CEO of CCAN; and Tim Appleton, CCAN state director. In addition, several Action Network storytellers
shared their experiences with loved ones who have died waiting, including:
- Jim Naughton, who discussed his wife, Pamela Naughton’s, death from cancer in 2013.
- Jill Hammerberg, who shared about her husband, Mark Fey, who died of cancer in 2012.
- Greg Shimer, who recalled his wife, Tracey Gamer-Fanning, who died of cancer in 2018.
CCAN also had approximately 40 people testify during the hearing, including these storytellers, subject matter experts, doctors, bioethicists, family members and patients themselves.
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75% of Connecticut voters feel that allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives should be an end-of-life option in the state. See more polling data.
Tools and Resources
For Patients Access the Connecticut Advance Directive
End-of-Life Planning Use our step-by-step guide to chart your journey.
Los recursos en Español Los recursos en Español.
COVID-19 Toolkit Get answers to your questions about COVID-19 and end of life care.
Resources for Providers Find resources tailored to the needs of healthcare providers.