PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island lawmakers are set to hear a bill on Tuesday that would give terminally ill patients the right to choose to end their life.
Rep. Edith Ajello introduced the bill in 2015 and named it after former Sen. Lila Sapinsley, who had been working to develop the legislation before she died in 2014.
The Lila Manfield Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act would allow an adult who is terminally ill to request a prescription from their physician they can self-administer to speed up their death.
According to the bill, the process would require the patient to make two documented requests 15 days apart, including a written request with two witnesses present.
There are also a number of conditions that have to be met including the patient being informed of their diagnosis, treatment options and all feasible end-of-life services.
Additionally, the patient must be referred to another physician for a second opinion and they would be able to take back their request at any time.
The bill also requires verification that patients don’t have impaired judgment — doctors, nurses, and others would not be subject to any criminal or civil penalty for providing the prescription.