Advocacy Group Files Suit on Behalf of Barnstable County Doctors

Dr. Roger Kliger

Dr. Roger Kliger

BARNSTABLE – Compassion and Choices has filed a suit in Massachusetts Superior Court on behalf of two Barnstable County doctors.

The suit asserts that the current state law allows physicians to offer terminally ill, mentally capable adults the option of medical aid in dying.

“In Massachusetts, there is no law that specifically prohibits providing medical aid in dying,” said Kevin Diaz, national director of legal advocacy for Compassion and Choices. “Criminal prosecution against physicians who provide medical aid in dying violates our plaintiffs’ privacy rights under the Massachusetts Constitution.”

The end of life care advocacy group also seeks an injunction prohibiting the defendants, Attorney General Maura Healey and Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe from prosecuting physicians who provide medical aid in dying, because they assert such prosecution is unlawful and unconstitutional.

“Having a prescription for aid-in-dying medication that I could self-administer if my suffering became too great in the final days would provide great comfort to me,” said physician plaintiff Roger M. Kligler, a resident of Falmouth, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. “It would alleviate my anxiety about the dying process and allow me to live my final days more fully confident that I would not have to suffer needlessly.”

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