Legislative Update

The public hearing for HB 1659, the Death with Dignity bill, was held on Feb. 12 before the House Judiciary Committee. First, we want to thank all of you who attended, testified, wrote e-mails and made phone calls. We will be posting the testimony on this site in the coming weeks. Each of your voices is extremely important when legislation is proposed and considered.

From left, National Death with Dignity staff members Peter Korchnak and Valerie Lovelace, and New Hampshire volunteers Cheri Bach, Bob McCown, and Rebecca Brown before the hearing on HB1659 at the NH State House Feb. 12.

Well over 100 people attended the hearing, showing that this issue is very important to a lot of NH residents. As we fully expected, those in opposition were present and testified in about equal numbers to those who testified in support.  

The Judiciary Committee voted 11 – 8 along party lines to refer the bill to Interim Study. This means the bill will not go any further this year. It show us that there is much work to be done to build support for all terminally ill Granite Staters having the right to autonomy and control at the end of their lives.

At this point, Covid-19 precautions have suspended all legislative activities at least through mid May, and campaigns and elections are coming this summer and fall. That will be another time to raise the issue with candidates. 

In the meantime, it’s important to keep the conversation going.  There are several things that we all can be doing.

  • Keep in touch with your legislators, let them know your thoughts about Death with Dignity. 
  • Discuss end of life issues with family and friends. “Death over Dinner”   is a creative and engaging way to start the conversation. 
  • We will begin posting more resources on this website and through our e-news. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do here.
Over the course of the four-hour long hearing in the House chamber, well over 100 people attended and many offered testimony.