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State Legislature to Consider "Right To Die" Legislation

It's an option the legislature should consider, House Speaker and Hamden Rep. Brendan Sharkey says.

State Legislature to Consider "Right To Die" Legislation

If your pet is terminally ill and not likely to recover, you take it to the vet who "humanely" euthanizes it so it doesn't unnecessarily suffer.

But if your parent is terminally ill, in pain and suffering, should they have the same choice?

That's a question that will be before the state legislature this session as Connecticut becomes the latest state to debate the "Right to Die" issue. If the bill that is now before the Public Health Committee ultimately passes the legislature and becomes law, Connecticut will join only three other state that allow the terminally ill to decide to end their lives.

State Rep. Betsy Ritter, who is the Deputy Speaker of the House, introduced the legislation.

“Patients should be able to make their own decisions about the final minutes of their lives. It’s their right and no one else’s,” Ritter said in a press release.

"She and I have talked about it and I am very interested in it," said House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, who represents Hamden. "It is something that I think should be considered."

The bill that is making its way through the Connecticut legislature is based on the Oregon and Washington laws that allows a person with a terminal illness who has a life expectancy of six months or less and who is considered mentally and psychologically competent to obtain medication to end their lives.

The legislation would include protections to ensure that patients are not coerced or influenced in their decision-making, according to Ritter.

"I personally think it's a good idea and want to see what the committee recommends," Sharkey said. "The details are going to be important as to the parameters as to how it gets done."

Last week, members of the lobbying group Compassion & Choices held a news conference in Hartford,  CTMirror reported, to encourage the passage of the bill.

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