Bill for terminally ill to get life-ending meds in Senate

May 30, 2019

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.

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