Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill Wednesday to legalize medically assisted suicide, making Maine the eighth state in the U.S. to do so. The proposal provides patients with a six-month life expectancy the option to request a fatal dose of medication after passing a screening test and receiving approval from two physicians.
Critics believe the governor has failed in her duties to protect the people of Maine. “Today, the legislature and Gov. Janet Mills failed the people of Maine. Assisted suicide is a dangerous public policy that puts the most vulnerable people in society at risk for abuse, coercion and mistakes,” said Executive Director of Patients Rights Action Fund Matt Valliere in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
“It also provides profit-driven insurance companies perverse incentives to offer a quick death, rather than costly continuing quality care. Mainers, especially the terminally ill, people with disabilities, and the poor, deserve better, he said. Proponents, however, have described the legislation as capturing the “libertarian Maine tradition,” claiming it is necessary for the protection of individual rights.
. The proposal was previously rejected in a state referendum and had failed seven times in the Maine legislature. ..