Assisted suicide bill fails in Maine Legislature

17 Jun Assisted suicide bill fails in Maine Legislature

Despite passage by the House, Senate support falls one vote short.

June 17, 2015
The Associated Press

AUGUSTA – Maine lawmakers have defeated a bill that would have allowed doctors to provide lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients.

Republican Sen. Roger Katz’s bill died Tuesday because the Senate and House failed to agree on the bill.

The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly rejected the bill with an 18-17 vote earlier this week. The Democratic-led House supported it with a 76-70 vote.

Katz and other supporters said that people who don’t have much time left to live should be free to end their life when they are ready. But opponents said lawmakers should focus on expanding access to palliative care. They said they feared it would send the message that the state of Maine condones suicide.

Five states currently allow dying patients to end their lives under a doctor’s care.