Life Matters Media
Quality of life at the end of life

Group Pushes Physician-Assisted Suicide Measure In Maine

BY DANIEL GAITAN | daniel@lifemattersmedia.org

Proponents of physician-assisted suicide in Maine are pushing for a statewide referendum on the controversial practice next year.

Maine Death with Dignity organizers visited polling stations throughout the state Tuesday to collect signatures for the proposed ballot question, The Associated Press reports.

The Wiscasset-based group announced last week that they also plan on soliciting signatures on Election Day for the ongoing petition, which must collect 80,000 signatures by January, the Conway Daily Sun reports.

The initiative is based on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. It would require patients with a life-expectancy of six months or less to submit multiple requests for such drugs and be deemed mentally competent.

In 2007, Legislators rejected a bill that would have legalized the practice.

However, Maine Death with Dignity steering committee chair Valerie Lovelace said the group wants to give Mainers the opportunity to vote on it.

Lovelace told the AP there’s “overwhelming support” behind the proposal.

A 2017 Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by Death with Dignity found 73 percent of Mainers support such legislation.

However, such legislation is opposed by the American Medical Association, some conservatives, religious groups and disability advocates.