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Maine House Blocks ‘Death With Dignity’ Bill

Maine lawmakers reject bill that would have allowed physician-assisted suicide

LIFE MATTERS MEDIA STAFF

Maine lawmakers have rejected a “Death with Dignity” bill that would have allowed physician-assisted suicide, The Associated Press reports.

According to The Press Herald, Statehouse legislators blocked the bill in an 85-61 vote on Tuesday. The controversial bill narrowly passed the state Senate earlier this month.

The bill would have allowed terminally ill adults with a life expectancy of six months or less to ask their doctors for life-ending prescription drugs. So-called “Death with Dignity” is legal in six states and Washington, D.C. The Maine legislation is modeled on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act of 1997.

The issue has divided state doctors. The Maine Medical Association did not take a position on the legislation, according to the AP.

However, the American Medical Association remains firmly opposed to physician-assisted suicide.

The Chicago-based organization is the nation’s largest organization of physicians and represents nearly 200,000 doctors, medical students and residents. Its policy remains unmoved amid a national debate regarding the risks and benefits of physician-assisted suicide.