Governor of Maine says he will veto assisted suicide bill

Gov. LePage said Tuesday he will veto a bill moving through the Legislature that would allow doctors to help terminally ill patients hasten their deaths.

LePage’s promised veto casts significant doubt on the prospects for the proposal, which is similar to one narrowly defeated in 2015. Two-thirds of the Legislature would have to vote to override a veto.

The bill is similar to a law passed in Vermont in 2013 and to proposals being debated in other states. It says patients who are ill and deemed by their doctors to be within six months of dying could request medication to hasten their deaths, and that physicians could legally prescribe life-ending medications in such cases.

“I’m against it,” he said Monday during a radio interview on WVOM’s “George Hale and Ric Tyler Show.” Asked if the bill is destined for a veto, LePage said, “Yes. Here we are talking about death with dignity and we’re sitting there, human beings, passing judgment on who can live and who can die. No, I don’t believe in it.”

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