Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide
Third state in US to do so
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2013 7:05 AM CDT
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Vermont has passed a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide, and with Gov. Peter Shumlin's signature expected this week, will become the nation's third state to allow it. Under the new law, people over 18 with an "incurable and irreversible disease" and less than six months left to live can be prescribed lethal drugs if they request them, the Wall Street Journal reports. Shumlin says the law will give "Vermonters who are suffering from a terminal illness and anticipating excruciating pain peace of mind in knowing that this is an option."

Some supporters say the news may once again open up nationwide discussion of so-called "death with dignity" laws. But Shumlin isn't so sure—the outcome in Vermont is the result of a hard-fought 10-year campaign over the issue. "We’ve had a very respectful, dignified conversation about a difficult issue where there are strongly held beliefs on both sides," he said. Just last year, Massachusetts voted down a similar proposal, and the only other states to legalize the practice so far are Washington and Oregon. Vermont has been busy: The state also just decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot.

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Showing 3 of 173 comments
coexzist
May 21, 2013 4:31 AM CDT
the limits of mercy take a long time to catch up to the real suffering...
People_Suck
May 20, 2013 11:08 AM CDT
This story just kills me.
JERZJOE
May 19, 2013 7:54 PM CDT
REMEMBER THE MOVIE"SOYLENT GREEN" SEE IT!! AND YOU'LL SEE WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS!!