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Mixed reaction towards ‘aid in dying bill’ as it goes before public hearing Hartford

HARTFORD --- Last week, a controversial piece of legislation known as the "aid in dying bill" went up before a public hearing.

If passed, the bill would allow a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to adult patients who are terminally ill and have less than 6 months to live.

Under the bill, patients would have to be mentally competent to make the request.

Some people are in support of it, including Tony award winning actor and longtime Connecticut resident James Naughton.

His wife died in 2013 after battling with pancreatic cancer for 4 years. He said his wife exhausted different forms of treatment during her battle. Naughton adds that seeing her in excruciating pain was one of the hardest things his family went through, which is why he stands by the bill.

“The time came when she looked at me and said I do not want to wake up anymore,” said Naughton.

However some advocates for those with disabilities  are worried that families could take advantage of this bill.

“There are all sorts of opportunities for things to go wrong or a misdiagnosis whether there is abuse or coercion, whether people are afraid and don’t feel supported,” said Cathy Ludlum, from Second Thoughts CT.

Some doctors agree and argue that this bill goes against medical industry ethics.

“Physician assisted suicide is not a therapy or solution,” said Dr. Brian Callister,  a Board Certified Internal Medicine and Hospitalist Physician.

However,  there are doctors that are in support of the bill.

“There are people who particularly with terminal illness who want to fight on they want to engage the battle by there are other people who don’t,” said former CT Chief Medical Officer for Dr. Paul Bluestein.

Similar have been proposed over the last few years,  but have not made it out of committee.

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