Vermont Senate to vote on assisted death

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A key backer of a bill being considered by the Vermont Legislature that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal amounts of medicine for terminally ill patients says there are numerous safeguards in the bill to guard against abuses.

Addison County Sen. Claire Ayer, a Democrat, made the comments Tuesday during hours of debate about the bill that supporters call "end-of-life choices" and critics call "physician-assisted suicide."

Rutland County Sen. Margaret Flory says she's bothered by supporters' talk of "death with dignity." She says her father died a dignified death without taking lethal amounts of medication.

The Senate is set to vote Tuesday whether to follow a recommendation of the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the measure. But the Senate's Health and Welfare Committee voted unanimously to support it.

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