MONTPELIER, Vt. (May 14, 2013)--Vermont is close to joining Oregon, Washington and Montana in allowing doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients who request it.
The state House on Monday approved the measure in a 75-65 roll call vote and sent it to Gov. Peter Shumlin who has expressed support for the legislation.
Vermont is the first state to give legislative backing to such an aid-in-dying measure.
Oregon and Washington approved their rules through public referendum while in Montana a court decision had a similar effect.
The bill mirrors Oregon's 1997 measure for three years and then shifts to a system with less government monitoring.
Some lawmakers likened the Vermont approach to using training wheels in the early years of the law.