Maine becomes 8th state to legalize assisted suicide

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2019 file photo, Maine Gov. Janet Mills delivers her State of the Budget address to the Legislature at the State House in Augusta, Maine. Maine has become the eighth state to legalize medically assisted suicide. Mills signed the bill on Wednesday, June 12.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine has become the eighth state to legalize medically assisted suicide.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill Wednesday. She had previously said she was unsure about the measure.

The proposal had failed once in a statewide referendum and at least seven previous times in the Legislature.

The current bill passed by just one vote in the House and by a small margin in the Senate. It would allow doctors to prescribe terminally ill people a fatal dose of medication.

Opponents had called on the governor to veto the bill they said puts the terminally ill in "grave danger."

Supporters say the terminally ill should have the right to choose a peaceful end.

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