Watch CBS News

Bill allowing medically assisted death advances in Minnesota legislature

People impacted by terminal illness push for end-of-life option bill
People impacted by terminal illness push for end-of-life option bill 01:51

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- When people hear "medically assisted death" or "physician-assisted death," it usually elicits a strong response.

A bill to allow Minnesotans who are in the last stages of life to get medical help to die is advancing in the state legislature.

People who have been impacted by terminal illness spoke at a capitol news conference, including ovarian cancer patient DeeDee Welles of Vadnais Heights.

"When I was 27 years old, I watched my mother die of ovarian cancer. It was a horrible experience for her, for me and my siblings," Welles said.

Welles wants this bill passed because now that she too has ovarian cancer she knows what lies ahead.

Supporters explained why Minnesota needs what they are calling an "end-of-life option."

A person who is at least 18 years old and mentally capable, is terminally ill with less than six months to live would have the right to medical aid in dying.

Supporters say that's so they could die peacefully and pain-free.

"I know I would feel great relief in knowing that I have an alternative to the agony my mother endured," Welles said.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life -- a group best known for its opposition to abortion rights -- is against the bill.

Their statements says, "This legislation has gone nowhere in the past and for good reason. Assisted suicide is a danger to all of us."

Right now, there are 10 states and the District of Columbia where medical aid in dying is authorized.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.