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State Lawmaker Introduces ‘Death With Dignity’ Bill

Past Attempts Have Gained Little Traction In Legislature

Janet Moore-Coll (CC-BY-NC-ND) 

Wisconsin adults diagnosed with terminal diseases would be allowed to end their own lives with the help of physicians under a bill introduced by a Democratic state representative.

The plan would cover state residents 18 and older who are of sound mind. If they’re diagnosed with a terminal disease, they could ask their doctors for medication to voluntarily end their lives.

State Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Cross Plains, said her husband wished that he had that option when he died from pancreatic cancer in 2001.

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“The last weeks of his life were miserable. No quality whatsoever,” Pope said. “It was difficult for him, it was difficult for our daughter. To have had this option would have been a blessing.”

Pope isn’t confident her bill will pass this session, but she said it’s a conversation lawmakers ought to have. Similar proposals have gone nowhere in previous legislative sessions.

Pope’s plan is modeled after laws in Oregon, Washington and Vermont.