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Committee expected to decide whether or not to move forward with ‘death with dignity’ bill

The Death with Dignity bill, also referred to as assisted suicide, would allow doctors to prescribe medication that a patient may self-administer to end their lives on their terms. (WGME)

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- The future of the so-called "death with dignity" bill could be decided Wednesday at the state house.

The Health and Human Services Committee will meet at 1 p.m. and decide whether to recommend the bill to the full legislature.

However, it's already getting some push back from Governor Paul LePage. He says even if the committee moves the bill forward, he'll veto it.

The Death with Dignity bill, also referred to as assisted suicide, would allow doctors to prescribe medication that a patient may self-administer to end their lives on their terms.

It's sponsored by Republican Senator Roger Katz and Democratic Representative Jennifer Parker.

Supporters say it should be an option terminally I'll patients are given, but opponents say the bill could lead to elder abuse and exploitation.

While it does have bipartisan support, the Maine Medical Association is not taking a position on the bill yet because its members are divided.

The nonprofit Death with Dignity Political Fund says 25 states are considering similar bills this year.

Assisted suicide is already legal in Washington D.C. and six states, including Vermont.

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