Maine Governor Signs Off On ‘Death With Dignity’ Bill, Saying She Hopes It’s Used ‘Sparingly’
Since Oregon first approved legislation in 1997 allowing people to end their lives with medication, seven states have also passed such bills. Nearly 20 other states have considered similar measures this year. Maine's proposal failed at least 7 previous times.
Maine Legalizes Medically Assisted Suicide
Maine became the eighth state to legalize medically assisted suicide Wednesday. Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed the Maine Death with Dignity Act, which lays out several steps a patient and physician must take before the procedure. The bill requires the patient to undergo two waiting periods and one written and two oral requests and obtain opinions from at least two physicians that a medically assisted suicide is appropriate. (Axelrod, 6/12)
The Associated Press:
Maine Becomes 8th State To Legalize Assisted Suicide
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who had previously said she was unsure about the bill, signed it in her office. “It is my hope that this law, while respecting the right to personal liberty, will be used sparingly,” said Mills. Oregon was the first state to legalize such assistance, in 1997, and it took over a decade for the next state, Washington, to follow suit. While still controversial, assisted suicide legislation is winning increasing acceptance in the United States, and this year at least 18 states considered such measures. (Villeneuve, 6/12)