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Advocates, opponents clash over Connecticut's medical aid in dying legislation

A 2012 file photo shows the Connecticut State Capitol building in Hartford.
Jessica Hill
A 2012 file photo shows the Connecticut State Capitol building in Hartford.

Supporters and opponents of legislation to legalize medical aid in dying in Connecticut were out in full force at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

Lawmakers are once again considering the controversial proposal.

This is the fifteenth time that the measure has been introduced in the Public Health Committee.

State Senator Saud Anwar, the Democratic co-chair of the committee, said he supports the efforts of families advocating for the law.

“Because your pain and your willingness to share your pain and relive your pain every year in front of this legislative body. And people who have not had all the opportunity to listen to all your experiences and then make a preconceived notion and vote and judge is not fair,” he told the advocates.

“Rather than focusing on making this terrible bill a little less terrible, let's focus on end-of-life care in our hospital system,” said state Senator Heather Somers, the ranking Republican on the committee, as she spoke with opponents of the measure.

Despite their concerns, Somers and some other lawmakers who oppose the bill, said they’ll consider trying to negotiate a compromise.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.