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Connecticut Lawmaker Supports State Legislation to Legalize Assisted Suicide

Connecticut Lawmaker Supports State Legislation to Legalize Assisted Suicide
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State Rep. Betsy Ritter joined healthcare professionals and right-to-die advocates today to support legislation that would legalize physician-assisted death for the terminally ill.

Connecticut State Representative Betsy Ritter introduced a bill last year that would allow mentally competent, terminally ill patients to opt for physician-assisted death. 

But the bill faced heavy opposition and never made it to a vote in the state Public Health Committee. Ritter says people just weren't ready. 

"It's a bill and a concept that to many people, it's scary to start talking about this stuff."

Betty Donahue's a nurse who's cared for terminally ill patients in Connecticut for almost 30 years. She says she thinks most of the opposition comes from people misunderstanding the legislation. She says it's not going to be a slippery slope where patients can just give up on themselves.

"It's instead intended so that people can have a dignified death, and make their own choice about their own life."

Proponents hope a new bill will come about in the next legislative session, which begins February 5.   

Other states have allowed for physician-assisted death, including Oregon, Washington, Montana and New Mexico. Legalization in the latter two states was based on decisions in judiciary courts.