MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Senate has passed a bill freeing doctors and family members from criminal or civil liability when they attend to a terminally ill patient who decides to end her or his own life.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott once again broke a 15-15 tie on a key procedural vote that cleared the way for final passage of the bill variously dubbed physician-assisted suicide or death with dignity on a 22-8 vote
The bill now moves to the House, where Gov. Peter Shumlin says he hopes it will emerge closer to the form originally filed in the Senate.
The original bill contained more safeguards to ensure the patient requesting a lethal dose of medication was of sound mind and was not under any undue pressure.