'I'm begging you.' Aid in dying bill up for debate again in Connecticut
Emotions ran high at a public hearing Wednesday on Senate Bill 88, an act concerning aid in dying for terminally ill patients.
"Non-disabled, not yet disabled people do not get to say what is oppressive and dangerous and threatening to us. You do not have that right. I'm begging you," said Elaine Kolb, from West Haven.
The bill would allow terminally ill people to get a prescription for a pill to help them die. The bill states the patient must make two separate requests in writing at least 15 days apart. There must be two witnesses, and they cannot be close relatives or health care workers.
Cathy Ludlum suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. She says the aid in dying bill is not the solution.
"This is the wrong time to be promoting suicide as the answer," said Ludlum.
Jennifer Mazzone, from Orange, has been a long supporter of the bill.
She says her husband Mike died an agonizing death from Lou Gehrig's Disease.
"When my 7-year-old has to watch his father Mike Mazzone deteriorate before his eyes and then at the age of 11, bury his father - it is time for change," she said.
Actor James Naughton's wife died almost 10 years ago from pancreatic cancer. He says this bill would have eliminated her suffering.
"I can't wait until we can get this bill across the finish line. Because there are a lot of people suffering that don't have to be and shouldn't be," said Naughton.
As part of the proposed bill, a patient can rescind the request to end their own life.
The Public Health Committee is expected to vote on the bill in the next few weeks.
Nearly a dozen states already allow aid in dying.