Maine legalizes medically assisted suicide, joining seven other states and District of Columbia


Maine legalized assisted suicide on Wednesday, becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed the Maine Death with Dignity Act, allowing doctors to prescribe terminally ill patients a fatal dose of medication, two decades after Oregon first legalized the procedure.

California, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have similar laws.

The Maine bill says getting or giving life-ending medication does not qualify as suicide under state law, effectively legalizing the practice often called medically assisted suicide.

Some residents of the state with the nation’s oldest median age welcomed the governor’s decision.

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