Passions Run High Over Assisted Suicide Bill

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Passions ran high on both sides as state lawmakers held a public hearing on a bill that would make assisted suicide legal.

    Sara Myers needs the assistance of a walker to get around. Two and a half years ago she was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It's a nervous system condition which slowly takes away motor functions and is ultimately fatal.
    "I lose something every single day," Myers said. "I need help with everything. I'm losing my independence."
    Myers said when the time comes she wants the ability to end her own life.
    State lawmakers heard hours of testimony on both sides. People against assisted suicide came out in big numbers. The bill would make it legal for doctors to prescribe drugs to a dying patient.
    "This would be a radical change," Monsignor Chris Walsh, of St. Joseph Church in Shelton, said.
    Elaine Kolb and others with disabilities say it could open the door for the government to be able to end the lives of people who need a lot of care.
    "There's no waiting period, there's no supervision, there's no accounting, there's no reporting," Kolb said.
    Advocates against assisted suicide believe more resources should be put into hospice programs to help people cope.
    Currently Washington and Oregon are the only two states which allow assisted suicide.