Washington (CNN)Some terminally ill patients in Maine will have the legal option to pursue medically assisted suicide after Democratic Gov. Janet Mills approved a bill on Wednesday permitting it.
Once the new law takes effect, Maine will join seven other states and the District of Columbia in allowing medical aid in dying.
The legislation says mentally competent patients over age 18 with terminal diseases that, “within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within 6 months” can request life-ending medication. . . .[Full text]
New York Law Journal
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed rule that would more vigorously protect health care providers’ ability to deny coverage in certain circumstances because of moral or religious beliefs should be withdrawn, according to a coalition of state attorneys general.
The proposed rule would strengthen the enforcement of existing regulations that allow providers to invoke conscientious objections as a basis for refusing to provide care that involves certain medical issues, including abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide and others. It also would allow individual providers to object to informing patients about their medical options or referring them to providers of those options. . . [Full Text]
Evolution News & Science Today
Wesley J. Smith
With the attacks on medical conscience increasing, here’s some fine news. Alliance Defending Freedom has successfully obtained a consent decree that protects doctors in Vermont from having to counsel about assisted suicide to legally qualified patients if they are morally or religiously opposed. From the decree:
Plaintiffs and similarly situated medical providers do not have a legal or professional obligation to counsel and refer patients for the Patient Choice at End of Life process [e.g., assisted suicide].
That’s good. . . [Full text]