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Advocates Make Renewed Push To Pass Assisted Suicide Legislation In Conn.

Hospital bed (file/credit: clipart.com)

Hospital bed (file/credit: clipart.com)

CBS New York (con't)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A public hearing set for Monday in Hartford will hear statements on the Compassionate Aid In Dying Act.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said he wants to see the final language of a bill that would allow physicians in Connecticut to prescribe medication to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

Malloy said he supports people having a document that spells out their final wishes, but he’s “a little uneasy” when it comes to enacting state policy that calls for “proactive actions to end life.”

The General Assembly’s Public Health Committee scheduled a hearing on Monday to discuss this year’s legislation, which advocates call “aid in dying” and opponents consider “assisted suicide.”

Malloy said he doesn’t believe society should be viewed as encouraging suicide and wants to understand the safeguards included in the proposed legislation. It’s unclear whether a bill will reach Malloy’s desk this year.

At age 92, Gloria Blick is blessed with good mental and physical health. She and her son Gary Blick, who is a doctor, are both strongly in favor of legislation that would allow compassionate choices for the terminally ill.

“If I were terminally ill and there was no other option for me and I am mentally alert as I am now, I would say to my son, please, find a way to help me. I don’t want to suffer, I don’t want you to suffer,” Gloria Blick told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “If the time is coming close, we should go out with dignity, we should go out with choice of how we feel we want to go out and not to bring more pain to ourselves or to our family.”

Blick planned to testify in support of the bill.

In Connecticut, a recent Quinnipiac poll found more than 60 percent of voters in favor of allowing an ailing patient to ask a doctor for a prescription to take when the time is right, Schneidau reported.

State Sen. Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) has led the push to legalize assisted suicide in Connecticut.

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