Maryland panel OKs medical aid in dying bill with changes

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland Senate panel has approved a bill to allow the terminally ill to end their lives with a doctor’s help, but some advocates say senators changed the bill so much that few patients would have the option.

The measure approved Friday stripped out provisions allowing doctors to have immunity from lawsuits. It also tightened the definition for terminally ill.

Sen. Robert Zirkin, who chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, says added safeguards were needed to protect people.

But Kim Callinan, the CEO of an advocacy group called Compassion & Choices, says so many regulatory road blocks were added that “very few people would be able to access the option.”

The measure goes to the full Senate. The House of Delegates has passed a very different version of the legislation.

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