Thursday, February 15, 2024

West Virginia Proposes Constitutional Protection From Medically-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

House Joint Resolution 28

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia amending Article III thereof by adding thereto a new section, designated section twenty-three, relating to the protection from medically-assisted suicide or euthanasia in West Virginia; numbering and designating such proposed amendment; and providing a summarized statement of the purpose of such proposed amendment.

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to the voters of the state at the next general election to be held in the year 2024, which proposed amendment is that Article III thereof, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated Section twenty three, to read as follows:

§3-23. Protection from medically-assisted suicide.

No physician or health care provider in the State of West Virginia shall participate in the practice of medically-assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing. Nothing in this section prohibits the administration or prescription of medication for the purpose of alleviating pain or discomfort while the patient's condition follows its natural course; nor does anything in this section prohibit the withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment, as requested by the patient or the patient's decision-maker, in accordance with State law, so long as the intention is not to kill the patient.

Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of article eleven, chapter three of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, such amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment 1" and designated as the "Protection from medically-assisted suicide" and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized as follows: "The purpose of this amendment is to recognize that West Virginians shall not have medically-assisted suicide or euthanasia forced upon them by prohibiting such actions."

NOTE: The purpose of this resolution is to add a new section to Article III of the West Virginia Constitution, to secure a protection from medically-assisted suicide or euthanasia.