Updated: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 7:41 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 3:03 AM EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A legislative committee is hearing divergent opinions about a bill that would allow a physician to prescribe medication to a dying patient who wants to end his or her own life.
Advocates for people with disabilities said Wednesday the legislation would be a "disaster" for people at risk of being abused, but proponents of the bill tried to assure lawmakers that the final proposal would be narrowly crafted.
Waterford Rep. Betsy Ritter, a chief proponent, said "the person who makes the decision has to be the patient."
Proponents said the Public Health Committee's hearing Wednesday marked the first time such legislation has been brought to a public hearing in Connecticut. The bill will likely be retooled before it faces a committee vote.
The committee has until April 5 to act on the bill.