Maine governor signs bill legalizing assisted suicide

Catholic News Agency | 6/12/2019 | Staff
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Augusta, Maine, Jun 12, 2019 / 07:01 pm (CNA).- Maine became the latest state to legalize physician-assisted suicide Wednesday as Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed LD 1313 into law.

Mills had previously said that she was undecided on the issue of physician-assisted suicide, and was unsure if she would sign the bill into law.

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Maine is now the ninth state to make it legal for a doctor to prescribe a terminally-ill patient a lethal dose of medication. Earlier this year, New Jersey legalized assisted suicide.

Mills said to reporters June 12 that the decision to sign the bill into law was the hardest she had made in her political career, and that she hopes assisted suicide does not become the norm in her state.

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“It is my hope that this law, while respecting the right to personal liberty, will be used sparingly,” she said prior to signing the bill.

She added that she hopes Mainers “will respect the life of every citizen, with the utmost concern for their spiritual and physical well-being, and that as a society we will be as vigorous in providing full comfort, hospice and palliative care to all persons, no matter their status, location or financial ability as we are in respecting their right to make this ultimate decision over their own fate and of their own free will.”

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To receive the life-ending medication, a patient must undergo two waiting periods, request the medication once in a written request and twice orally, undergo a psychological evaluation, and be approved by a second physician. The law also criminalizes coercing someone into assisted suicide, or forging a note requesting suicide.

The law was narrowly passed by the state legislatures June 4, and sent to the governor’s mansion. Mills had 10 days from June 4 to decide whether or not she was going to sign the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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