Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota's end-of-life options bill clears its first legislative hurdle

A woman with glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, pleaded with Minnesota lawmakers Thursday to pass an End-of-Life Options Act quickly so she can choose when she dies in the hope of avoiding a gruesome, painful death.

A mother of an adult son with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, both wearing T-shirts saying "NOT DEAD YET," told legislators of her fears that such a law could introduce a slippery slope and degrade the lives of people with disabilities - that people could be coerced, or that the law could eventually be opened to people with serious, chronic physical conditions that aren't life threatening.

Hours of searing testimony on both sides of the issue became the opening salvo for what promises to be one of the most controversial battles in the upcoming legislative session: Should terminally ill Minnesotans have the option to use medication to end their life? The proposed law's supporters believe it has its best chance this session, after a decade of not getting much traction under divided government.


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