'Aid-in-dying' hearing stirs strong debate on both sides - WFSB 3 Connecticut

'Aid-in-dying' hearing stirs strong debate on both sides

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About 200 people were expected to speak at the hearing on Wednesday. (WFSB) About 200 people were expected to speak at the hearing on Wednesday. (WFSB)
People were for and against assisted suicide at the hearing. (WFSB) People were for and against assisted suicide at the hearing. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (AP) -

The right to die has become the hot topic in Connecticut. A house bill has been introduced as lawmakers prepare to vote on whether a sick person will be able to make the decision to end their life.

Both sides of the issue were able to speak out at a hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. There were 200 people signed up to speak on the topic. There were so many people that two overflow rooms were set up.

For Middletown resident Judy Passmore, she said she believes people should have a choice.

“If I lose control of my brain or the ability to have joy or to communicate with people. I don't want to be here. And I want to have that choice," Passmore said.

Passmore said she watched her father suffer 30 years ago. He came to the point when he didn't want to live anymore.

“When he was afraid he would hurt someone, because of his lack of brain control that's when he gave up. He fought, I can't tell you how hard he fought," Passmore said.

Many people spoke for it.

“There will come a time in the future when i want to have this choice,” one speaker, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

The House bill allows a physician to give or prescribe medication to a patient who has a terminal illness. The patient would have to ask for it.

“[It] would set a dangerous precedent for the way life is treated in Connecticut,” one speaker, who did not want to give their name, said.

Many people also spoke against it including Manchester resident Cathy Ludlum, who has a disability.

“There are way too many judgments involved in medical care and people think, oh I don't want to live like you so we are fighting this perception," Ludlum said.

She said choosing to die this way, isn't the answer.

“I think we would all like a peaceful and wonderful death, and I think that's not realistically possible," Ludlum said.

The hearing went on for hours on Wednesday.

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