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Rep. Pierce Proposes Voluntary Euthanasia Bill


State Representative Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) is filing legislation that would provide Indiana with a “death with dignity law.”

Pierce says his proposal, which was announced today, would enable individuals with terminal illnesses to request voluntary euthanasia.

According to a press release from Rep. Pierce’s office, House Bill 1157 would allow an adult diagnosed with a terminal disease that will end the person’s life within six months to request and receive medication that can be used to die in a “peaceful, humane manner.” The measure is based upon a law passed in Oregon in 1998. Four other states–cCalifornia, Colorado, Vermont, and Washington – and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws.

Joining Pierce at the press conference early today was Corey Polen from Brownsburg, who suffers from ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Polen criticized the state for euthanizing domestic terrorist Timothy McVey, but not allowing him to die in peace.

Pierce says his legislation would require a patient to request the medication on a written form signed by two disinterested witnesses who attest the patient is competent and acting voluntarily.

The request would then be followed by a 15-day waiting period and second written request for the prescription. A second doctor is required to confirm the diagnosis and that the patient is making a voluntary decision before a physician can prescribe the medication.

Pierce says under House Bill 1157, patients would be informed of other available options such as pain management and hospice care, and would be referred for counseling if depression or another disorder is impairing their judgment.

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