Big things have been happening regarding the right to die in our state! On May 28, L.D. 1313, a bill to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with medication prescribed by a doctor passed through the Maine House of Representatives by four votes. On May 30, the bill passed in the State Senate by just three votes. This controversial bill, which has been in the works in some form in our state since the 90s, has finally been enacted in both the Maine House and Senate. Now it just needs Governor Janet Mills’s signature.
You can read the full text of the law here: http://legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0948&item=1&snum=129
Since Oregon pioneered the first of these types of laws in the country in 1997, Mainers have proposed similar measures, which always proved controversial. Despite a survey in 1998 showing a majority of Mainers in favor of physician-assisted dying, it has taken over 20 years to frame the bill in such a way that it would pass through state Legislature. With its many checks and balances, L.D. 1313 has scraped through, and will now allow Maine citizens with a terminal illness, who have been assessed for capacity and have requested multiple times, the ability to die on their own terms.
For a look at one of the people this bill will touch, read Cyndie’s story here: https://www.deathwithdignity.org/stories/cyndie-rogers-fighting/