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The Boston Globe

Magazine

How the Death with Dignity Act works

1) An adult patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness and determined to have six months or less to live.

2) The patient asks his or her doctor for a lethal prescription. The doctor is required to discuss other end-of-life care options, including palliative care and hospice, and to assess the patient’s mental competence before moving to the next step. If the doctor has moral qualms, the doctor can, but does not have to, refer the patient to another physician for the prescription.

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