DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN/WHO-TV) – Two Iowa lawmakers introduced a right-to-die bill on Tuesday.
The bill’s sponsors say a person facing a terminal disease should have the right to ask for help to end their own life, called The End of Life Options Act.
It would allow terminally ill Iowans with six months or less to live to be able to request medication to die in their sleep.
A number of professional medical associations are split on the issue.
Some claim physician-assisted suicide goes against the code of medical ethics, while others support a patient’s right to choose.
Supporters for the bill were at the Iowa statehouse on Tuesday encouraging lawmakers to take it up for debate.
The supporters said it is a personal choice and things like “do not resuscitate” orders are already in place.
“I urge Iowa lawmakers to touch their hearts and to make medical aid in dying available to its terminally ill residents so that Iowans are not forced to suffer needlessly,” said Luanna Rashenberger, a cancer survivor.
The legislation is modeled after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which has been in use there for 20 years.
Eight other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws.
Rep. Mary Mascher is looking for more sponsors for the bill, especially from Republicans, to keep it moving forward.