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'Death with Dignity Act' finds little support in NH House
Under House Bill 1325, the "Death with Dignity Act," the patient must have received a prognosis of six months or less to live by two physicians. The vote against the bill was 219-66.
The "end-of-life" committee would also investigate "the positive and negative effects of legislation in states that have enacted aid-in-dying laws," and "how to encourage careful and responsible deliberation about this complex and emotional issue."
He said it was based on Oregon legislation that has been in effect for about 15 years and said his bill contained several "protections" to prevent abuse.
But Rep. Lenette Peterson, R-Merrimack, said the bill would provide "a new deadly avenue for predators and could lead to a convenient termination a life so that imperfections, consequences and conflict" can result in a person's death.
"Death is not a treatment," Peterson said. "Doctors take an oath and that oath does not include killing their patients."
"When the fatal prescription is prescribed, who will pick it up?" he asked. "And if the person who receives it decides not to use it, where do these drugs go? They could go into your medicine cabinet."
But Watrous said the time frame is adequate. He said the Legislature occasionally studies such issues "and it is time to do so again."
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