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Connecticut’s assisted suicide law appears dead after emotional public outcry

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HARTFORD, CT, March 19, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A state legislator has said Connecticut's assisted suicide bill is set to die of natural causes.

Lawmakers introduced House Bill 5326, the “Aid In Dying” bill, this year after it failed to come up for a vote last year. It would allow anyone diagnosed with six months or less to live to obtain assistance from a physician in committing suicide.

But after a capacity audience attended a public hearing Monday, one prominent government official believes the bill itself is dead. State Rep. David Zoni, D-Southington, said the bill will not likely come up for a vote this year, either.

Expert witnesses said that often medical professionals, and state officials, actively promoted assisted suicide over continued health care.

“Terminally ill citizens were told by state medical plan authorities that they would not pay the cost of pain-control, but would cover the cost of their suicides,” Dr. Jacqueline Harvey of Reproductive Research Audit testified. “While spending for palliative care has increased, one study indicated that 24 percent of patients who chose [physician-assisted suicide] reported that they did not have adequate finances to cover expenditures for medical care and equipment.”

Elaine Kolb, a resident of West Haven, said that every complication her lesbian girlfriend faced in the hospital led medical professionals to ask her, “Don’t you think it’s time to let her go?”

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However, state Attorney General George Jepsen testified that the bill would help the disabled, adding that it was “cruel and inhumane” to “force them to stay alive.”

A recent Knights of Columbus-Marist poll found that 55 percent of Connecticut residents believe that doctors have no business prescribing death-dealing drugs. In all, 70 percent view the issue as unimportant or unworthy of lawmakers' time.

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