‘Aid-in-Dying’ public hearing held in Hartford

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HARTFORD -

Connecticut lawmakers held a hearing Monday about a plan to allow dying patients to end their own lives.

Families and even lawmakers who watched their own parents die in pain gave testimonies in Hartford.

The 'Aid-in-Dying' bill would allow patients to take a lethal dose of pills, usually sedatives, in order to end their lives. Patients would only qualify if they have fewer than six months to live.

The patient would need two doctors to sign off after two written requests are sent. Physicians could also order a psychological evaluation.

Critics of the bill call it assisted suicide and say they worry that the severely disabled might be offered suicide over treatment.

Sharon Hines, of Middletown, who suffers from stage 4 lung cancer, asked lawmakers to let her take her own life with a doctor's help. She argued that she shouldn't be forced to suffer.

The bill has failed to pass in Connecticut in the past. The Connecticut State Medical Society recently dropped its opposition of the bill.

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