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'Death With Dignity' Or 'Assisted Suicide' Bill Draws Crowd In Augusta

Scores of people lined up to testify on legislation that will allow some terminally-ill patients to request life-ending medication. Unlike many bills before the legislature, this issue is not partisan — it is intensely personal.

Supporters call the measure “death with dignity.” Opponents call it “assisted suicide.”

Portland nurse Susan Mitchell supports the bill.

“Allowing terminally ill patients a medication option to end their lives will allow them to fully embrace the time they have left, or some may even attempt a difficult new treatment with the knowledge they can end their life if the burden of their symptoms outweighs the quality of their life," Mitchell says.

Lawmakers have considered similar legislation in past sessions, but it has failed. Supporters are ready if that happens again with a petition drive that would force a statewide vote on the issue.

Originally published April 10, 2019 at 2:57 p.m. ET.