February 1, 2013; Andrew Stein; VTDigger
The bill is based on a law passed in Oregon in 1998. Oregon lawmakers who visited the committee this past week convinced Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, that the legislation is ultimately a good idea.
“The more we learned about what’s gone on in Oregon since 1998, the more I felt the law that was implemented there has worked the way it’s intended to,” he said. “There was not any sort of slippery slope … that would indicate people would fall prey to a broader proposal. That hasn’t happened in Oregon, and there’s no indication that would happen here.”
Pollina, who sits on Health and Welfare, said that very few Oregon residents have actually used the law, and he expects the same to hold true for Vermont if such legislation is enacted.
“I know this bill is an important bill that means a lot to a lot of people, but it will impact a small number of Vermonters, most of whom are already in hospice and see this as a way to alleviate a problem,” he said.
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