Bill for terminally ill to get life-ending meds in Senate
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine, the state with the oldest residents, is weighing a bill to allow adults with a terminal disease to ask for a fatal dose of prescription drugs.
The Senate tabled the bill Wednesday. The House supported the bill in an initial 72-68 vote Tuesday.
Lawmakers could take up the bill again before adjournment in mid-June.
Opponents argue lawmakers should instead promote hospice care including mental health treatment. Supporters say people with a terminal illness and a sound mind should choose to end life on their terms.
The bill’s process includes two waiting periods, a second opinion and written and oral requests.
Supporters warn the matter could go to the ballot. Similar legislation failed in 2017.
The bill criminalizes coercing a person into requesting medication, and allows health providers to opt-out.