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Maine Advances Physician-Assisted Suicide Law


The Maine Senate has given preliminary approval to a controversial bill that would allow physicians to prescribe terminally ill adults life-ending drugs.

Under the proposal, an individual with a life-expectancy of six months or less would follow a procedure that includes a second opinion by a consulting physician, along with one written and two verbal requests. Physicians would screen patients to help ensure that their judgment is not impaired, The Associated Press reports.

The Senate vote on the bill was 19-16 on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the bill passed by four votes in the House, 72-68, with 11 lawmakers either absent or excused, the Portland Press Herald reports. A similar bill was rejected by the House in 2017.

If passed, Maine would become the eighth state with such a law.

The bill, LD 1313, still faces additional votes in both chambers.