Maine has legalized medically assisted suicide

Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signs a bill Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in her office in Augusta, Maine, becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives with prescribed medication. | Photo Source: AP Photo / Marina Villeneuve
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Maine legalized medically assisted suicide on Wednesday, becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives with prescribed medication.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who had previously said she was unsure about the bill, signed it in her office.
"It is my hope that this law, while respecting the right to personal liberty, will be used sparingly," said Mills.
Oregon was the first state to legalize such assistance, in 1997, and it took over a decade for the next state, Washington, to follow suit. While still controversial, assisted suicide legislation is winning increasing acceptance in the United States, and this year at least 18 states considered such measures.
Maine's bill would allow doctors to prescribe a fatal dose of medication to terminally ill people. The bill declares that obtaining or administering life-ending medication is not suicide under state law, thereby legalizing the practice often called medically assisted suicide.
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