Mass. residents to vote over right to die - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Mass. residents to vote over right to die

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MASSACHUSETTS - A controversial law is on the November ballot in the state of Massachusetts allowing terminally ill patients to choose when they want to die.

The "Death with Dignity" act, known as "Question 2" on the ballot, would allow terminally ill patients to choose to be given lethal drugs by doctors.

The patient must be given six months or fewer to live, and be mentally capable to request the medication. Among other strict guidelines, the patient must submit their request orally, with a relative and non-relative present, fifteen days prior to a written request and a second oral request. The patient's terminal diagnosis and capability to make health care decisions must be confirmed by a second doctor. The act also allows blood relatives to participate in assisting the patient to sign up for the lethal dose.

To avoid any potential misuse of the law, the proposed measure requires absolute compliance with all of these the requirements.

Supporters argue that the measure would give terminally ill patients dignity and control over their deaths, and would alleviate suffering.

Opponents argue that the measure is morally wrong, and that beneficiaries of terminally ill patients could abuse the provisions presented by the proposal.

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