Skip to content

Maine governor signs bill legalizing assisted suicide

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
6/13/2019 (4 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

 Maine became the latest state to legalize physician-assisted suicide Wednesday as Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed LD 1313 into law.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
6/13/2019 (4 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Maine governor, bill legalizing, assisted suicide


Augusta, Maine, (CNA) - Mills had previously said that she was undecided on the issue of physician-assisted suicide, and was unsure if she would sign the bill into law.

Maine is now the ninth state to make it legal for a doctor to prescribe a terminally-ill patient a lethal dose of medication. Earlier this year, New Jersey legalized assisted suicide.

Mills said to reporters June 12 that the decision to sign the bill into law was the hardest she had made in her political career, and that she hopes assisted suicide does not become the norm in her state.

"It is my hope that this law, while respecting the right to personal liberty, will be used sparingly," she said prior to signing the bill.

She added that she hopes Mainers "will respect the life of every citizen, with the utmost concern for their spiritual and physical well-being, and that as a society we will be as vigorous in providing full comfort, hospice and palliative care to all persons, no matter their status, location or financial ability as we are in respecting their right to make this ultimate decision over their own fate and of their own free will."

To receive the life-ending medication, a patient must undergo two waiting periods, request the medication once in a written request and twice orally, undergo a psychological evaluation, and be approved by a second physician. The law also criminalizes coercing someone into assisted suicide, or forging a note requesting suicide.

The law was narrowly passed by the state legislatures June 4, and sent to the governor's mansion. Mills had 10 days from June 4 to decide whether or not she was going to sign the law. Members of both political parties voted for and against the bill, which was passed by a single vote in the state's House of Representatives.

In addition to LD 1313, Mills signed Executive Order No. 9, which requires the state's Department of Health and Human Services to report all instances of physician-assisted suicide over the next years. Specifically, DHHS will examine the data for any trends regarding socio demographic status, location within the state, and medical conditions, to ensure that the "personal liberty and autonomy of all Maine people is protected."  

While the bill is set to go into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, the existence of Executive Order 9, which goes into effect immediately, means that assisted suicide will likely not be available in Maine until 2020. This is because lawmakers must approve the collection methods and norms required by the executive order.

The battle to legalize physican-assisted suicide in Maine was drawn out for about a decade. There were seven previous bills submitted to legalize the practice, all of which failed. In 2012, there was a statewide referrendum to legalize assisted suicide, which also failed.
 


Comments


More U.S.

DNA test could reveal if Catholic supply store killer was involved in 1985 murder Watch

Image of

Last year, Thomas Bruce was accused of assaulting three women and killing one of them at the Catholic Supply of St. Louis retail store Nov. ... continue reading


New hotline connects women in crisis pregnancies to resources, community Watch

Image of Pregnant woman looking at ultrasound

When Pamela Whitehead takes a call for LoveLine, a new pregnancy helpline, she listens. Austin, Texas, (CNA) - When Pamela Whitehead takes ... continue reading



In face of California fire, LA archdiocese expands fund for victims Watch

Image of Saddleridge Fire Los Angeles County

As a large fire continues to burn in southern California, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has expanded one of its support funds for the ... continue reading


New York will get statue of Mother Cabrini Watch

Image of

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the state will erect a statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. New York City, N.Y., (CNA) - New ... continue reading


Indian archbishop, parish priest killed in California car accident Watch

Image of Bishop Zuchetto

Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong, India and Fr. Mathew Vellankal died in a car crash Oct. 10 during a visit to the Diocese of Oakland. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.