Minnesota Legislature kicks off debate on physician-assisted suicide

January 26, 2024

ST. PAUL, Minn.–The Minnesota Legislature kicked off debate Thursday on whether the state should join the list of those that allow physician-assisted suicide.

A House health committee took the unusual step of giving the bill a hearing even before the legislative session formally convenes Feb. 12.

The lead sponsor, Democratic Rep. Mike Freiberg, of Golden Valley, who first introduced a similar proposal in 2015, said at a news conference beforehand that he was confident it will pass at least the House this year.

Years of experience in states with similar laws such as Oregon and Washington, show that they work as intended, and are utilized only by a narrow group of patients with terminal illnesses, he said.

Nancy Unde, of Corcoran, Minnesota, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in late 2022, told reporters that she wants the right to choose a peaceful, painless death on her own terms.