Physician-assisted suicide bill dies in Massachusetts

Legislation to authorize physician-assisted suicide is dead in Massachusetts, after the proposal was sent to a study committee late last week, effectively ending the bill’s chance at enactment this session.

The aid-in-dying bills H1194 and S1225 would have given doctors the ability to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients who wish to die and are given a prognosis of six months or less to live.

Matt Valliere, executive director of Patients Rights Action Fund, which opposes assisted suicide, said the Legislature listened to doctors, disability rights activists and residents who came out against assisted suicide.

“Your voice was heard: Assisted suicide is not medical treatment,” Mr. Valliere said in a statement. “It is bad public policy that puts a great many at risk of deadly harm through mistakes, coercion and abuse.”

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