Maine Is Now the 8th US State to Legalize Medically Assisted Suicide – Here Are the Regulations

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Maine legalized assisted suicide on Wednesday, becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives. 

Keep on reading Nexter.org to know more.

Assisted-Suicide-maine-photo

Source: Getty Images

Assisted suicide is legal in Maine now

Maine legalized medically assisted suicide on Wednesday, becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives with prescribed medication.

Oregon was the first state to legalize such assistance, in 1997, and it took over a decade for the next state, Washington, to follow suit. While still controversial, assisted suicide legislation is winning increasing acceptance in the United States, and this year at least 18 states considered such measures.

Assisted-Suicide-maine-photo

Source: Getty Images

Maine’s measure will allow doctors to prescribe a fatal dose of medication to terminally ill people. It declares that obtaining or administering life-ending medication is not suicide under state law, thereby legalizing the practice often called medically assisted suicide.

Opponents, meanwhile, have said any assisted suicide legislation puts the terminally ill and individuals with disabilities in danger of abuse, coercion and mistakes. Such groups argue that doctors can be wrong and that government is devaluing life by “turning suicide into a medical option.”

Maine joins seven other states and Washington, D.C., that have similar laws, according to the Death With Dignity National Center and the Death With Dignity Political Fund. The states are: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and New Jersey, whose governor signed the legislation earlier this year.

Assisted-Suicide-maine-photo

Rules and regulations 

The specific method in each state varies, but mainly involves a prescription from a licensed physician approved by the state in which the patient is a resident.

A patient age 18 or older must undergo two waiting periods, submit one written and two verbal requests, and get the opinions of two physicians that a fatal dose of medication is appropriate. Doctors must also screen patients for conditions that can impair judgment, such as depression.

The law criminalizes coercing someone into requesting life-ending medication, as well as forging a request for life-ending medication.


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Maine Is Now the 8th US State to Legalize Medically Assisted Suicide - Here Are the Regulations
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Maine Is Now the 8th US State to Legalize Medically Assisted Suicide - Here Are the Regulations
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Maine legalized assisted suicide on Wednesday, becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives.  Keep on reading Nexter.org to know more.
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