District of Columbia

Current DC Law Permits Doctor-Prescribed Suicide
Text of law
Analysis of law

2017
“House To Take First Step Towards Blocking D.C. Assisted Suicide Bill”
(WAMU — February 7, 2017)
A U.S. House committee will take the first step on Monday evening towards blocking a D.C. bill that legalizes assisted suicide…..{T]he bill was sent to Congress for the 30-day review required under the D.C. Home Rule Act, which gives Congress the right to override the District’s elected representatives.
Text of House Joint Resolution 27

“Will black lives matter to Death with Dignity Act?”
(The Hill — January 23, 2017)
Last November, Washington DC Mary Muriel Bowser approved the Death with Dignity Act.  If Congress does nothing during its 30-day review period, DC will join six other states that have already legalized or decriminalized doctor-assisted suicide
On the surface, this may just seem like a growing trend toward giving patients the right to end their lives. But viewing this development as part of the beginning of a national shift on the subject leaves out one glaring factor — race.

“Members of Congress from Ohio, Oklahoma move to block D.C.’s law”
(Washington Post — January 12, 2017)
To block DC’s assisted suicide law, Congress must pass a disapproval resolution and the president must sign it within 30 legislative days.
Text of  Law
Analysis of law (D.C. Act 21-577)

“Congressman Says He’ll Block DC’s ‘Death with Dignity’ Bill”
(ABC News — January 10, 2017)
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who heads the Congressional committee that oversees DC affairs, says he will block the DC doctor-prescribed suicide law that was passed in December.  A DC law can be overturned within a 30 day window if both the House and Senate vote to reject it and the President signs the rejection.

2016
“DC mayor signs assisted suicide bill”
(Washington Examiner — December 20, 2016)
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law Tuesday a bill that would make assisted suicide legal in the district, if it gets through Congress.
It is not clear if Congress will approve the legislation. It has blocked D.C. legislation before, most recently the city’s recreational marijuana law. Under the Constitution, Congress has to sign off on all D.C. Laws.

Note:  The DC bill which was Docket No. B21-38 is now titled “D.C. Act 21-577.”

A Bad Recipe for D.C.
(November 2016)
Ingredients and directions for doctor-prescribed suicide.

2015
A doctor-prescribed suicide bill, Bill 21-38, titled the “Death with Dignity Act of 2015,” has been introduced in the District of Columbia.
Text of bill.
Analysis of bill

Articles

“House To Take First Step Towards Blocking D.C. Assisted Suicide Bill”
(WAMU — February 7, 2017)
A U.S. House committee will take the first step on Monday evening towards blocking a D.C. bill that legalizes assisted suicide…..{T]he bill was sent to Congress for the 30-day review required under the D.C. Home Rule Act, which gives Congress the right to override the District’s elected representatives.

“Right-to-die law faces skepticism in nation’s capital: ‘It’s really aimed at old black people'”
(Washington Post — October 17, 2016)
“They are not people who look like me,” said Leona Redmond, a 64-year-old longtime District community activist who has been organizing other African American seniors against the legislation. She’s concerned that low-income black senior citizens may be steered to an early death….[S]he notes that African Americans are less likely to be able to afford expensive treatment when faced with a terminal prognosis.

“Even in D.C., the Death with Dignity Debate Comes with Strong Emotions and Fears”
(Washington City Paper — July 24, 2015)
With the Council on recess until mid-September, the death with dignity debate will move away from the Wilson Building, but it won’t recede entirely….Councilmember Alexander says she’s heard the concerns from senior citizens and people with disabilities and has concerns of her own.

“‘Death With Dignity’ bill likely to get slow walk through D.C. Council”
(Washington Post — February 2, 2015)
[T]he bill’s future lies mainly in the hands of another lawmaker, Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), to whose Health and Human Services Committee the legislation was referred.  And Alexander said Monday she plans to take an exceedingly careful approach to the bill that will involve an examination by two other committee and a public hearing that likely won’t take place for several months.

“D.C. Council to Consider ‘Death with Dignity’ Bill”
(NBC Washington — January 13, 2015)
A D.C. Council member wants the nation’s capital to join the three states that allow terminally ill people end their lives with the help of a physician.
Democratic Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced the “Death with Dignity Act” on Wednesday.

B21-0038 – Death with Dignity Act of 2015