Republican Rep. Dan Douglas has introduced a bill to help the terminally ill end their lives.

He calls it the “compassionate care end-of-life option” act. You can read it here.

Among other things, it would allow a physician, without liability, to talk to a patient considering self-administering a lethal dose of medicine.

A physician would be immune from liability if, on request of the patient, he or she prescribed “medication for self-administration by the patient for the purpose of hastening the patient’s death …” A number of circumstances would have to be met, among them: Two oral requests over a 15-day period, one written request signed and witnessed, a determination that the patient was capable, an adult and making an informed decision; a terminal condition was diagnosed.

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No health provider would be obligated to participate in such a procedure. A health care facility could prohibit the practice on its premises.

The proposal makes clear that it is not intended to legalize “a physician or any other person
to end a patient’s life by lethal injection, mercy killing, or active euthanasia.”

According to this website, six states and Washington D.C. have so-called death with dignity statutes such as this proposal.

Douglas will meet opposition. But as the subject gains traction worldwide, the discussion should be held here, too.