Legislative Panel to Hold Hearing on Aid In Dying Bills

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are again considering the emotionally-charged question of physician-assisted death.

The Legislature’s Public Health Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Tuesday on legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to make a voluntary request of physicians for medication that can be self-administered to bring about a peaceful death.

The bills filed by Democratic Sen. Barbara L’italien, of Andover, and Democratic Rep. Louis Kafka, of Sharon, list several other conditions to be met before the medication can be prescribed.

Massachusetts voters narrowly rejected a right to die question that appeared on the 2012 ballot.

Proponents of aid in dying laws say they offer a compassionate end of life alternative for terminally ill patients.

At least six states and the District of Columbia have such laws.

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