Assisted Suicide Bill Approved By Vermont Legislators

In a recent Reuter’s article written by Scott Malone entitled: Vermont set to become third U.S. state to allow assisted suicide, is reported that on Monday Vermont lawmakers approved a physician-assisted suicide bill to allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who want to die.

The bill awaits to be signed into law by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin who has indicated support for the measure. He believes this is the right thing to do, which would offer Vermonters who face terminal illness at the end of life a choice to control their destiny and avoid unnecessary suffering.

Doctor-assisted suicide has been already legalized in Oregon and Washington in voter referendums.

The procedure of a doctor-assisted suicide has some safeguards. Two doctors, the patient’s primary physician and the consulting doctor, must make the medical determination that their patient is suffering from a terminal illness and is capable of making an informed decision to request death-inducing drugs. Under the bill the patient has to request the drugs twice, with 15 days separating the first and second requests. Moreover, the patients must apply the drugs to themselves only.

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Same-Sex Marriage Is Also Legalized In Rhode Island

In a recent Reuters article written by Edith Honan entitled: Rhode Island lawmakers pass gay marriage bill; governor signs it, is reported that on Thursday the smallest in area of the 50 U.S. states Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples and the last of the six New England states to do so.

Governor Lincoln Chafee, an independent, signed the bill yesterday shortly after its approval. The first wedding ceremonies will be possible on August 1, when the law will take effect.

“We would not be where we are today without the Rhode Islanders who for decades have fought for tolerance and freedom over discrimination and division,” said Chafee. “I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love.”

Later the governor together with the state’s main gay rights organization, Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, celebrated their victory in the state capital Providence.

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