Florida lawmaker files ‘Death with Dignity’ bill, inspired by Daytona Beach hospital shooting

Bill would let an adult with a terminal condition end their life

Florida Capitol in Tallahassee.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A new bill filed in the Florida Senate was inspired by a recent incident in Daytona Beach where a 76-year-old woman allegedly shot and killed her terminally-ill husband in a hospital.

Florida Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, filed SB 864 on Thursday. The bill creates a “Death With Dignity” framework that would allow an adult Florida resident with a clinically diagnosed terminal condition to seek a doctor-assisted end to their life.

Book’s office tells News 6 the bill was inspired by the case of Ellen Gilland. Police say Gilland and her husband, Jerry, who was terminally ill, planned to end Jerry’s life.

Police say Ellen Gilland ended up shooting her husband at AdventHealth Daytona Beach last month before engaging in a standoff with police. She faces first-degree murder charges and was denied bond.

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It’s not the first time a Florida senator tried to get a Death With Dignity bill passed. Former Sen. Kevin Rader tried to pass a bill in 2020, but it was never even heard in a committee.

There is an organization called Florida Death with Dignity that is pushing to bring a Death With Dignity Act to Florida.

Ten states and the District of Columbia have Death With Dignity acts.

Book’s bill does not yet have companion legislation in the Florida House.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.