The Health & Welfare Committee of the Vermont State Senate recently voted in favor of a physician-assisted suicide measure that, upon the request of a terminally ill patient, allows a physician to prescribe a lethal dose of medication. The Committee also made changes to the bill, such as removing a requirement that terminally ill patients seek palliative care before ending their lives under the law. Instead, physicians will be required to discuss palliative care with patients seeking to utilize the statute. In addition, the Committee removed a requirement that prosecutors must prosecute if a person other than the patient illegally participates in the patient’s death. As revised, such prosecution will be discretionary. Next, the full Senate will vote on the bill and if it passes, it will head to the House of Representatives.
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