‘Die with dignity’ bill still on file after John Jay Hooker’s death

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Supporters of “die with dignity” efforts in Tennessee says the cause will continue even though its champion, John Jay Hooker, died on Sunday.

“No matter when it happens, it will and he is the one who got the impetus going on this bill, if it happens this time or next time, it will happen because of John Jay Hooker,” said Tennessee House Democratic leader Craig Fitzhugh who is sponsoring the “die with dignity” legislation that’s still on file for this legislative session.

After enough high profile political campaigns and business ventures to fill several lifetimes, “die with dignity” was John Jay Hooker’s final battle.

It was for terminal illness patients like him to choose when and how they die.

During an interview in the spring of last year, he told News 2’s Bob Mueller, “I have felt for a long time that the government ought to keep their nose out of that and that the decision to live or die ought to be between themselves and the doctor.

Hooker wanted to change the state law that prevented that–whether it be through the courts with a lawsuit he filed or by legislation that he championed in committees this past year on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill.

Ftzhugh sees hearts and minds being changed with Hookers bill.

“I took it on because he needed someone to do it at the last minute, but since that time it’s been amazing to me how many people have come out in support that I would not expect to with this kind of thing–a lot.”

It was as John Jay Hooker called it, “the ultimate liberty.”

Hooker’s lawsuit challenging current Tennessee law on dying is in the Tennessee Court of Appeals, but would need another plaintiff because of Hooker’s passing.Copyright 2016 WKRN. All rights reserved.

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