Mainers Petition to Get Assisted-Suicide Initiative on Ballot

Mainers can expect to see petitions circulating in the coming weeks asking if they’d like to see an initiative for physician-assisted suicide on the fall ballot next year.

Under the proposal, a person would need to receive a terminal diagnosis from at least two doctors, before being eligible to receive the medication to end their lives.

Lovelace says it’s about providing a dignified choice for people who are still capable of making what she describes as a highly important and very personal decision.

Critics like hospice doctor Jim Van Kirk says he’s concerned that patients, especially in rural areas of the state, aren’t given anything better right now, and that’s the real problem.

“‘Gee, I’m sorry you have a terminal process, but we don’t have palliative care where you are, we don’t have hospice where you are, but you have a choice to take these pills and end your life’ ? That’s really not giving people a choice. That’s saying we’re not going to make a societal effort to provide you appropriate care,” Van Kirk says.

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