The MCC found that, under the bill, no assessment screens for depression nor is there a supervisor to ensure a patient is not pressured into the process. The bill also does not require a medical professional to be present during the suicide, or a contingency if the attempt is unsuccessful.
Delegate Nic Kipke noted that "if people cannot afford treatments they need for their care, and if people are making choices based on economic factors that is not consistent with choice or safety from coercion," WAMU reported.
The Senate version of the bill has at least 19 sponsors in the 47-member body.
Governor Larry Hogan, a Catholic and a Republican, has not indicated whether he would sign the bill. The Baltimore Sun reported that Hogan has said the bill is "one that I really wrestle with from a personal basis."
Assisted suicide is legal by law in the District of Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Vermont, Hawaii, and Colorado; and in Montana through a state supreme court ruling.
According to MAPAS, Dr. Joseph Marine, an associate professor of medicine at John Hopkins, said this kind of end-of-life care is dangerous to Maryland, noting other states have already witnessed its ugly effects.
"We are already seeing reports of insurance companies in some states declining to cover the cost of life-extending treatments, and instead paying for these drug overdoses that end a patient's life."
During debate on the bill, Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk said that "we have 40 years of documented evidence that this is not a problem and there has never been abuse."