AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Groups fighting to give terminally ill people the right to physician-assisted suicide in Maine are launching a petition drive to force a statewide referendum on the issue.

The Bangor Daily News reports that Westport Island resident Valerie Lynn Lovelace is spearheading a push to enact the Maine Death with Dignity Act.

The act would allow certain adults to request a prescription for the purpose of ending their lives.

But before a prescription, patients would face a process that includes waiting periods, a series of requests by the patient and a second opinion.

A Republican senator's physician-assisted suicide bill this year garnered a 16-15 vote of support in the Senate but failed 85-61 in the House.

The Secretary of State's office says the petition drive is still in an application stage.

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Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com