House testimony for end-of -life options

House testimony for end-of -life options

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(ABC 6 News) – Debates ensued between Minnesota lawmakers over a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their own life.

Under HF 1930, people who are at least 18-years-old, mentally capable and given six months or less to live can request a prescription for medical aid in dying.

Supporters of the bill say it gives those who are mentally ill, the support they need, as well as protection for hospice care workers.

— RELATED: Minn. Senate examines end of life bill

“Hospice clinicians are end of life experts and we need to be at the heart of this,” said Rosie Gaston, a hospice clinic social worker, owner and clinician with A Better Ending. “Not only to provide guidance support and symptom management but be an extra layer against coercion.”

Opponents to the bill say its language is unclear, and could hinder those with disabilities.

“It steers people people with terminal disabilities away from necessary mental health care, medical care and disability supports and towards death by suicide,” said Cathy Blaeser, a representative from the pro-life organization Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

The amended bill is now headed to a new committee after an eight to five vote.