Nancy Kusmaul, Ji Hyang Cheon and Alison Gibson Published in Journal of Death and Dying
This study examines the goals of medical aid-in-dying (MAID) legislation introduced to the US Congress from 1994–2020 using a policy mapping analysis approach.
Using congress.gov, we identified 98 bills, 23 bills were analyzed in this study. Most of the bills aimed to restrict the use of federal funds, to regulate the drugs commonly used for MAID, to prohibit the development of policies or practices supporting MAID, and to regulate practitioners’ roles in MAID. In practice, these bills would limit patient access to MAID by restricting drugs, funds, health care services, legal assistance, policy, and research. These findings suggest there lacks congressional support for MAID, even though polls of the public are divided yet favorable. Policymakers who support MAID should consider affirmative policies that 1) prevent MAID policies from discriminating against vulnerable groups, 2) support funding to study the use of MAID, and 3) build avenues to allow all qualified people to access MAID in places where it is legal.
Kusmaul, N., Cheon, J. H., & Gibson, A. (2021). A policy mapping analysis of the U.S. Congressional approach to medical aid-in-dying. OMEGA: Journal of Death and Dying. Advance Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/00302228211043694