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Utah lawmaker's bill would allow terminally ill patients the right to end their own life

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By JIM SPIEWAK, KUTV

SALT LAKE CITY (CIRCA via KUTV) — Freshman Utah Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost wants to give terminally ill patients in her state the legal right to die peacefully.

“This is something I thought long and hard over,” Provost said.

But this is not a new idea. In fact, similar legislation has failed to make it through the Utah legislature the past four years.

"I see this as hastening the end of pain and suffering; suicide ends a life that would last much longer."
Utah Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost

Brittany Maynard might be the most high-profile case. She was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and, in 2014, moved from California to Oregon, where she legally got medication to end her life.

Before she died, she said, “I would never sit here and tell anyone else that they should choose it for them, but my question is, who thinks they can sit there and tell me I don’t deserve this choice?”

Provost is familiar with Maynard’s situation. Her new End of Life bill comes with restrictions. It requires the patient to be over the age of 18. Two physicians must agree the person has a terminal illness with at most six months left to live. A psychologist must also determine no one is coercing the patient into making the decision.

When asked if this is a form of suicide, Provost said, “No, I see this as hastening the end of pain and suffering; suicide ends a life that would last much longer.”

The patient can't pre-plan dying this way. The decision must be theirs alone. Several physicians declined to talk publicly about this bill.

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