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Assisted suicide bill passes in Maine

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/05/19, 10:46 am

The Maine Senate narrowly passed a bill Tuesday to legalize assisted suicide, just a day after the state House of Representatives passed the measure by a one-vote margin. The bill now goes to Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat who has not taken a public position on the issue. If Mills signs the Maine Death with Dignity Act into law, her state will join seven others and the District of Columbia in legalizing the practice. The law would allow physicians to prescribe fatal doses of medication on request to patients with a terminal disease. It defines “terminal” as an “incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within six months.”

State Sen. Scott Cyrway, a Republican, voted against the bill, citing examples of relatives who had beaten the odds and lived longer than expected. “There’s several instances like that where hope is everything,” he said. “If we go and take this hope away, that’s what we’re doing when we push this button.”


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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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