ORANGE - A man from Orange has put himself at the center of a statewide debate about death, as lawmakers consider a bill that would allow people with terminal illnesses to take a series of pills to end their life.

Mike Mizzone has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The 53-year-old was diagnosed when he and his wife, Jennifer, were newlyweds.

The couple made a decision to pack as much life and as many memories as possible into each day.

Mizzone says he wants a choice when it comes to his death, which is why he supports the so-called “Aid in Dying” bill. The father of five says, "It's the most humane and compassionate thing to do for our fellows."

Mizzone feels obligated to share his story while he still can, with the hope that legislative leaders will help him complete his mission. He says that all he wants is the option to take the pills, and acknowledges that he might not exercise that choice when the time comes.

The committee considering the Aid in Dying bill has just one more week to vote on whether the bill will go to the full General Assembly for a vote. That committee recently received a petition with more than 21,000 signatures opposing the legislation.

The petition came from the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference, which says the bill qualifies as physician-assisted suicide. They believe that no one should have the right to take a life.