DC Mayor Won't Veto Death With Dignity Bill

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will not veto the death with dignity bill if D.C. Council passes it as expected later this year.

The bill passed its first reading 11-2 Tuesday.

"I expect with the overwhelming vote in the Council that death with dignity is going to become law," Bowser said Wednesday. "I will not be issuing a veto."

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She also indicated she may allow it to become law without her signature. 

"I’m going to see what the Council does with it," she said. "We had them make some adjustments to the bill. It's not an easy issue, but I think the will of the councilmembers is pretty clear."

The measure would give limited rights for terminally ill persons with less than six months to live to take drugs to end their lives.

Opponents are concerned lower-income residents would be pushed to end their lives prematurely rather than undergo costly treatment. Supporters said the bill has safeguards against family or medical abuse.

Physician-assisted death is legal in five states, and several others are considering legislation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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