Doctor-Assisted Suicide Bill Passes?

Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

( – On Thursday, Delaware’s state Senate failed to get doctor-assisted suicide approved.

After it narrowly cleared the House earlier in the year, the Democrat-led Senate failed to pass the legislation with a vote resulting in a 9-9 tie after three Democrat Senators spoke against the measure, which no Republican lawmakers have supported.

Two GOP Senators were absent during the vote, while the legislation’s co-sponsor, Democrat Senator Kyra Hoffner of Smyrna, tearfully declined to vote on the measure.

Majority Leader Byran Townsend of Newark also strategically switched his vote from “yes” to “no,” a move that will allow the bill to return for a vote next week before the legislative session ends.

The Senate rules dictate that members of the prevailing side, which in Thursday’s vote included “no” votes and lawmakers who didn’t vote, can motion for a reconsideration.

However, one State Senate Democrat, Sen. Jack Walsh of Stanton, stated he “can’t get there,” and wouldn’t be supporting the bill.

Walsh discussed his older sister’s 10-year battle with cancer while referencing the plea late college basketball coach Jim Valvano made at the V Foundation for Cancer Research’s launch.

Valvano told those in attendance during his 1993 speech while he was dying from cancer: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

Walsh noted his sister “lived by that motto,” and so does he.

Thursday’s vote is also the first time the assisted suicide vote reached Delaware’s State Senate after Democrat Rep. Paul Baumbach has been trying for nearly nine years to get its passage in the lower Chamber.

The latest iteration of the legislation is the only version to reach a floor vote, following a lengthy debate in April where House lawmakers voted 21-16 for the legislation, just meeting the 21 threshold for the bill’s passage.

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