Interview: Dr. Robert Orr & Dr. Diana Barnard on the Patient Choice at the End of Life Act

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A bill that would allow doctors in Vermont to legally help terminally ill patients end their lives gets a public hearing tonight at the Vermont Statehouse.

The Patient Choice at the End of Life Act was known as the Death with Dignity bill last year, when it failed to get out of committee.

But many political observers say the legislation has a better chance this year. If enacted, Vermont would join Oregon as the only 2 states in the country that have a law on the books permitting physicians to help end the lives of patients who ask them to.

VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb has two perspectives on this bill. The first is from Dr. Robert Orr, President of the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Health Care. We then hear from Dr. Diana Barnard, a family doctor with a practice in Middlebury.

Note: There will be a public hearing on the bill at the Statehouse this evening and you can listen to the proceedings thanks to VPR’s live audio stream. Log on tonight for testimony on the End of Life Act.

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