The D.C. Council passed a measure last year that would allow doctors to “assist” terminal patients to commit suicide — the same governing body that opposes the possession and carrying of handguns.
But a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has other ideas.
As D.C. is not a state, Congress maintains jurisdiction, although the Home Rule Act gives local government certain powers. Congress may review and overturn any laws passed.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted on Monday 22 to 14 to overturn the “Death with Dignity Act.” From Fox News:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which voted to block D.C.’s assisted-suicide policy, told The Washington Post his opposition stems from “deep personal, moral conviction” and said he’s worried the law “will create a marketplace for death.”
D.C. critics have questioned his motives and accused him of using his post to gain favor with conservative and religious groups.
Despite the committee vote, overturning D.C.’s assisted-suicide policy isn’t a sure thing. Both houses of Congress would have to block it by Friday – the deadline period for congressional review.
If Congress strikes down the law, there will be no state-sanctioned “assisted suicide” in the nation’s capital.