WAMC News
12:23 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

New Life for Death With Dignity Bill in Vermont Legislature

Supporters of Physician assisted suicide, or death with dignity,  used a  procedural move to attach the proposal onto a bill banning tanning salons from offering their services to minors.  The entire measure passed the Health and Welfare Committee on a 3 to 2 vote, moving it to the full Senate. A previous effort to move the legislation as its own bill was blocked in committee. Patient Choices Vermont President Dick Walters, who has been working for ten years to get a death with dignity law in Vermont, says there was no other way to move the measure forward.

This is the second effort this session to move a death with dignity bill to the floor of the Senate. Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights President Ed Paquin opposes the legislation.

Both the Senate President Pro Tem and Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor have said the amendment could be pulled from the bill before a full Senate vote  because it is not “germane” to the original. Patient Choices at End of Life Vermont Lobbyist Adam Necrason says the amendment is appropriate.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott notes that before he, or the Senate Pro Tem, can determine whether the amendment is “germane” a Senator will have to raise a point of order.

Last month a Death With Dignity bill failed to come out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.