The Vermont Senate voted Tuesday afternoon to advance legislation that
allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with prescription
drugs. A number of senators who were undecided on the issue made up
their minds to
support it over the weekend.
Lawmakers are reconsidering the philosophical and religious exemption to the childhood immunization law in the face of a rise in pertussis (whooping cough) cases. They’re also set to discuss the contentious end-of-life bill next week. VPR’s Bob Kinzel talks with Peter Biello about the week in legislative news.
Witnesses ranging from former Gov. Madeleine
Kunin to Vermont’s current health commissioner, Dr. Harry Chen, are
scheduled to testify to a state Senate committee about legislation that would
allow physicians to help terminally ill patients end their own lives.
One of the most emotional and
contentious bills in the Statehouse right now would allow terminally ill
patients to get a prescription to legally end their own lives. Supporters call
it Death with Dignity, opponents call it physician assisted suicide.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would allow patients
to get medication to end their lives. The so-called "death with dignity" bill has been controversial in the Statehouse, and its prospects
for passage remain uncertain.
Vermont is once again facing a debate over whether terminally
ill patients should have the right to end their own lives with help from a
doctor. Supporters of legislation being considered in the House call it "Death with
Dignity", while opponents call it "physician-assisted
Supporters call it "Death With Dignity" and opponents call it
"Physician-Assisted Suicide." For both sides, the debate over whether
physicians should be able to help people die is emotional and
Legislation has been introduced at the Statehouse that will allow doctors to
prescribe life ending medications to terminally ill patients. Supporters refer to it as "the
Death with Dignity" bill, while opponents call it "physician assisted suicide."