Florida Democrats Double-Down on Medically Assisted Suicide Legislation

Florida Democrats Double-Down on Medically Assisted Suicide Legislation

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
November 21, 2023

For the second time this year, Florida Democrats have introduced legislation that would legalize medically assisted suicide in Florida. 

Representative Daryl Campbell (D) sponsored the latest attempt at authorizing medically assisted suicide, also known as euthanasia, today, November 20th, 2023. 

Representative Campbell’s HB 561 aims to permit medical professionals to prescribe lethal drugs for adults diagnosed with terminal illnesses who request these. 

Patients requesting euthanasia would have to make three repeated requests to their doctor for the procedure to be executed

Prior to initiating the assisted suicide procedure, doctors would have to explain to patients any feasible alternative, concurrent, and additional treatment options available to them. 

In 2013, a Pew Research poll found that 62% of Americans believe a person suffering intense pain due to terminal illness has a moral right to commit suicide.

However, Florida Statutes currently prohibit medically assisted suicide or any related practices. 

Statute 765.309 prohibits any “deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.”

Earlier this year, Florida Senator Lauren Book (D-FL) also attempted to legalize euthanasia in the state of Florida.

"With this bill, we hope to have Florida join 10 other states and Washington, DC in guaranteeing an individual’s right to make their own health care decisions," said Senator Book. "This law would not increase the number of deaths in Florida – it would simply increase compassionate, patient-centered end-of-life options for patients with a terminal illness when the last days of their life become too unbearable."

Although Book’s legislation died in the previous session, her Democrat colleagues in the House have resurfaced the issue.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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