June
08
 

Maine refuses to follow Vermont on assisted suicide

The Maine House of Representatives has decisively rejected a bill to legalize physician assisted suicide , just days after Vermont legalized it. The Patient Directed Care at End of Life bill was defeated 95-43. The legislation would have lifted criminal sanctions on doctors.

The bill was sponsored by the independent Rep. Joseph Brooks. Brooks gave an emotional address to the house about the slow death of his own father. Rep. Deborah Sanderson who used her mother’s death to argue the opposite case: “I sat with my mom the last five days of her life. I slept in a wheelchair by her bed,” she explained. “The night before my mother passed, my mother said, ‘It’s not like what I thought it would be.’ She said, ‘It’s peaceful.’”

The Maine Medical Association opposed the bill, as did the Maine Osteopathic Association, which called it "very dangerous public policy." Both groups strongly support better palliative care. Assisted suicide was defeated in a 1990 referendum.



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