HEALTH

‘Aid in dying’ bill clears committee following emotional debate

There was emotional debate Thursday at the State House on a bill first introduced to the Legislature in 2012.

The “Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act,” also referred to as assisted suicide, was cleared out of the Senate Health Committee Thursday.

It gives terminally ill patients who are mentally competent the option to take a physician prescribed life-ending drug when they have six months to live. Proponents say it allows the severely ill to die with dignity, but there’s a strong push, especially from Catholic groups, against the measure.

“We’re opposed because it’s a very slippery slope and we know that patients can be given palliative care, they don’t need to be murdered in our eyes in order for them to be comfortable and safe and secure and loved,” said Jean Lyons, who testified against the bill.

The bill passed through committee in a 6-3 vote. It passed the state Assembly Judiciary Committee in March and now heads to the full Senate and Assembly.