(CN) – Maine officially became the eighth state to legalize assisted suicide Wednesday when Governor Janet Mills signed the practice into law after the state Senate sent it to her desk last week.
The state’s Death With Dignity Act establishes the procedures to allow those with a terminal illness and a short time to live to be prescribed medication to end their life.
Along with the law, Mills signed an executive order that requires the Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services to track instances of those choosing to end their life, in order to ensure that certain members of different socioeconomic classes aren’t disproportionately killing themselves.
“It is not up to the government to decide who may die and who may live, when they shall die or how long they shall live,” Mills said in a statement. “While I do not agree that the right of the individual is so absolute, I do believe it is a right that should be protected in law, along with protections for those who are unable to articulate their informed choices and those who do not have access to quality end of life care.” CONTINUE