AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine House has officially passed a controversial bill that would enact what is commonly known as a 'death with dignity' law in the state.

On Monday, June 3, the House voted 73-72 to pass L.D. 1313, "An Act To Enact the Maine Death with Dignity Act". Six lawmakers were absent.

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If enacted, this bill would allow terminally ill individuals who are at least 18 years old to request a prescription for a medication to end their life. Patients would be required to go through two waiting periods, submit one written and two oral requests, and obtain a second opinion by another physician.

The bill defines 'terminal disease' as an incurable and irreversible disease that would result in death within six months.

L.D. 1313 now heads to the Senate for final approval. If passed there, it will be sent to Gov. Janet Mills.

Similar bills have been defeated twice in Maine in recent years.

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If the bill is passed, Maine would become the eighth region in the U.S. with a similar law, according to the Death with Dignity site.