Death With Dignity Bill on Track to a Vote in Vermont Legislature
Vermont could become the third U.S. state to allow
terminal patients in chronic pain and with signoff from doctors the option to
take a lethal dosage of pills. "The bill as drafted is flawed, and needs
to be – a number of areas need to be clearer," said Sen. Dick Sears
(D-Bennington County), who is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sears
says he's against the concept of the proposed law, as are a majority of his
committee colleagues. Normally, that would spell the end of a bill, a fate
prior versions met in previous sessions. "But I really believe Vermonters
have the right to have the entire Senate engaged in the debate," said Sen.
Joe Benning (R-Caledonia County). The committee needed procedural clarification
to make that a reality, as it held an unusual vote on whether to recommend that
the full Senate reject the bill. With three in support, one against, and one
absent, that question will now land in front of the full body next week.