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Assisted Suicide Gains Momentum


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he Democrat-controlled Maryland House of Delegates moved forward legislation to legalize assisted suicide.

On Thursday, Democrats passed legislation that would allow physicians to prescribe lethal medication to patients who have received terminal diagnoses. The bill passed by a 74-66 margin, narrowly eclipsing the 71 votes needed. The bill had failed in three previous sessions, but received a boost when the state doctor's lobby lifted its longstanding opposition to assisted suicide and opted for a neutral stance.

Critics of assisted suicide slammed the bill as a threat to palliative and hospice care, which focuses on keeping those in pain comfortable until their natural death. Matt Valliere, executive director of the Patients Rights Action Fund, said the advance of assisted suicide could also close the door to vulnerable patients receiving life-saving care as insurance companies opt for the cheaper option of suicide pills. He called the bill "misguided," adding that "those already at a disadvantage in our healthcare system will see their options disappear.":snip:

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