physician-assisted suicide


The Vermont Senate has passed a physician-assisted suicide bill and moved it to the House chamber.  But the amended bill is substantially different than the original bill presented to lawmakers.

The Vermont Senate passed the “Patient Choice and Control at End of Life” bill late Thursday. It grants immunity from criminal or civil liability to health care professionals and family members when treating or helping a terminally ill patient who decides to end their own life.

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A bill that would allow Vermont doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients who request it has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 5-0 on Friday to approve the legislation, dubbed "end-of-life choices" or “death with dignity” by supporters and "physician-assisted suicide" by opponents.

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Backers of legislation that would allow Vermont doctors to help terminally ill patients end their own lives say experience in other states shows the policy to be a good one.

Oregon and Washington have laws on the books allowing what backers call death with dignity and opponents call physician-assisted suicide.