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Expert warns of upcoming threats to democracy across the nation; Judge in Trump documents case rejects suggestions to step aside; NC businesses fear effects of 'bathroom bill'; Report says restaurants allow abuse, disease risk at MD animal farms.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Medical Aid-in-Dying Law Still Sought in MN

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Friday, February 18, 2022   

Minnesota lawmakers have a lot on their plates during a shorter legislative session this year, but supporters of an end-of-life option bill hope it gets another look.

The current proposal would permit mentally capable adults with less than six months to live to request, obtain and take medication to die peacefully in their sleep.

Carrie Framsted, an advocate for the nonprofit Compassion & Choices from Grand Marais, said she became an advocate for the bill following the death of her wife Monica two years ago. She explained it became clear the cancer treatments were too much for Monica to handle.

"She had two wishes, the pain management and quality of life, and she didn't have either one," Framsted recounted.

The House bill has added sponsors in recent weeks, but it's unclear if it will get a hearing. There is also a companion measure in the Senate. One of the concerns opponents have raised in the past is the possibility of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals. Supporters countered there are numerous safeguards and requirements in place, including accessing the service through licensed providers.

Framsted noted supporters are still working through stigma issues, such as people still referring to the option as "assisted suicide."

"It's a decision you make with your family, your physician, with your friends and loved ones, and they are all with you together," Framsted emphasized.

Other provisions in the bill would allow terminally ill people to withdraw their request if they change their mind at any point, and anyone who attempts to coerce a patient would face criminal prosecution. Health-care providers who participate and comply are given civil and criminal immunity.

Similar laws are in place in nearly a dozen other states.

Disclosure: Compassion & Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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