Assisted Suicide Bill Goes Back Before New York Lawmakers

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Legislation that would authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician is again before state lawmakers in Albany.

Supporters of the bill include several New Yorkers who lost loved ones to painful terminal illness. They plan to meet with lawmakers Tuesday at the state Capitol.

The bill, which was introduced in January, would require two physicians to certify the patient’s illness is terminal. Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason.

The measure has been introduced before. It passed an Assembly committee last year, but did not get a full vote in the Legislature. It faces significant challenges again this year.

Supporters say the bill gives suffering patients the freedom to end their lives with dignity but has proper safeguards.

Opponents worry the measure would be abused.

Colorado, Washington, Vermont, California and Oregon already have current laws allowing people to request life-ending medication from a physician.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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