AP NEWS

Bill for terminally ill to get life-ending meds moves ahead

May 2, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine, the state with the oldest residents, continues to consider the latest bill to allow adults with a terminal disease to ask for a fatal dose of prescription drugs.

The Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee initially voted 6-5 Wednesday on a Democrat’s bill . Two members had yet to vote on the bill, which faces House and Senate action.

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 want to put the matter on the ballot. Similar legislation failed in 2017.

The bill criminalizes coercing a person into requesting medication.