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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vermont Senate approves amended death with dignity bill

By Dave Gram
The Associated Press
Originally published February 13, 2013

The Vermont Senate on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to an amended bill allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients.

But even some backers of the measure, which passed 21-9, called the amended version a travesty. And other long-time backers of what they call ‘‘death with dignity’’ or ‘‘end-of-life choices,’’ along with opponents of physician-assisted suicide, were so angry about the amendment that they voted against it.

‘‘I will be voting yes for this bill, as much as I detest it,’’ said Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Addison and chairwoman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

She said she hoped much of the original language — which mirrored Oregon’s first-in-the-nation Death With Dignity Act — would be restored when the measure moves to the House.

‘‘I want to be on that conference committee,’’ Ayer said, referring to the six-member panel of lawmakers who work out the differences between the House and Senate bills after they have cleared both chambers.

The entire story is here.

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