LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An Indiana lawmaker is working to pass a "death with dignity" law for those suffering from terminal illnesses.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington), would allow people with a terminal illness to receive a medication they take themselves to die. Pierce said he wants to give Hoosiers diagnosed with terminal illnesses and given six months or less to live the option to end their lives.
"Clearly the choice is put in the hands of the patient," Pierce explained. "There are many, many safeguards to ensure the patient has carefully thought through the ramifications of the decision they're making and you have a consulting physician make sure that the person is making the decision based on their best judgement."
Safeguards include a 15-day waiting period and confirmation of terminal illness from two doctors.
"What we find when we listen to people with terminal illnesses is that they yearn to live as long and as fully as they can for as long as the disease allows them a reasonable quality of life," Bev Hmurovic, President of Compassion and Choices of Indiana said. "What they don't want is a prolonged and painful dying process."
The bill is based on an Oregon law passed 20 years ago. Four other states have passed similar laws.