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Physician-Assisted Death Bill Moves to Vermont House for Consideration

A Death with Dignity, or Physician-Assisted Suicide, bill has moved to the Vermont House for consideration. Among the tasks legislators must determine is which version of the measure to move forward.

The House Committee on Human Services is hearing testimony this week on Senate Bill 77 - An Act Relating to Patient Choice at End of Life.  There was some initial confusion by legislators regarding what they  were reviewing.

Vermont Digger Health Care Reporter Andrew Stein has been covering the proceedings.

Stein says most of those testifying are trying to convince House members to restore the original version of the bill.  Patient Choices Vermont President Dick Walters has been advocating for a death with dignity law for years.

Patient Choices Vermont Lobbyist Michael Sirotkin says the group is optimistic that the House will return to the original, which mirrors Oregon’s laws.

Vermont Medical Society Executive Vice President Paul Harrington testified Wednesday before a joint hearing of the House Human Services and the Judiciary committees, saying no bill should be passed.

The House Committee on Human Services will continue to take testimony on the patient choice at end of life bill on Friday.  It will also conduct a joint public hearing with the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the House Chamber.

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