Florida End-of-Life Options Act

The Florida End-of-Life Options Act was designed to give terminally ill, mentally capable adults who have less than 6 months left to live, the right to decide for themselves  how to die in a gentle manner.  Representative Campbell filed bill HB1231, titled ‘Florida End-of-Life Options Act’ on 2/28 in the House of Representatives.  Senator Book filed SB864, titled the ‘Death with Dignity Act’ on 2/17 in the Senate.  This is the first time in Florida history that both the Senate and House have bills for medical aid in dying in the same legislative session.

Our proposed legislation has strict requirements and safeguards to ensure that it is the personal decision of the individual.

Requirements to use this End-of-Life option.

  1. Must be an adult, diagnosed with a terminal illness, with a prognosis of less than 6 months to live.  This is the same requirement as Hospice.
  2. Must be mentally capable of making their own health care decisions.
  3. Must be able to self-administer the medication.

Safeguards to protect against coercion and abuse.

  1. Two physicians confirm the diagnosis and prognosis, and that the patient meets the requirements of this law.
  2. If there is any concern about the mental capability requirement, the physician will contact a mental health professional for an evaluation.
  3. The patient must request a prescription from their physician two times.  The first is orally, and then there is a 15 day waiting period.  The second request is orally and then submitted in writing, with two independent witnesses ensuring that the patient is not being influenced by a 3rd party, and is not under any pressure to continue.
  4. The patient may change their mind at any time, even after receiving the medication.
  5. All physicians and healthcare professionals may choose not to participate, their decision is completely voluntary. They may opt out at any time.
  6. This law protects the patient’s access to all feasible healthcare options.

The senate bill has been assigned to committees in the Senate by Senate President Passidomo. Committee assignments are pending in the House. 

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