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Legislation introduced to allow assisted suicide in Illinois

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(The Center Square) – Another attempt is being made to make medically-assisted suicide legal in Illinois.

The Illinois End of Life Options Coalition is praising lawmakers who have introduced legislation that would allow medical aid-in-dying in Illinois. The group has emphasized that the practice is called medical aid-in-dying and not assisted suicide.

The End of Life Options for Terminally Ill Patients Act would allow terminally ill adults to have the option to get prescription medication to end their life.

“If they get a diagnostic exam from a doctor who tells them they have less than six months to live, they have the option of requesting a prescription that they can take themselves,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes, D-Aurora.

Holmes added that there are guardrails in place, including getting a second opinion and if either doctor feels that the person is not capable of making the decision, the person must also see a mental health expert.

Ten states have authorized medical aid-in-dying, with 19 other states considering similar measures this spring.

The Illinois End-of-Life Options Coalition said a recent poll showed fewer than one in five Illinois voters (17%) oppose medical aid-in-dying.

Jon Schweppe, policy director with the American Principles Project, said states should not be offering the option.

“There’s a segment of people who see it as a fundamental liberty, but ultimately as a culture we do have to make these choices about who we want to be and I really think it puts folks in a precarious situation,” Schweppe said.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has gone on record as being neutral on the practice.

The national suicide and crisis line can be reached by dialing 988. They provide free and confidential support for people in distress, along with prevention and crisis resources.