Valerie Lovelace, chair of Maine Death with Dignity, will discuss the citizen initiative to place an assisted-dying statute on the 2019 ballot, at Rockland Unitarian Universalist Church, 345 Broadway, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 15, and at the library in Belfast on the same day, at 2 p.m. Guests will also have an opportunity to sign the death-with-dignity petition.

“It’s time Maine voters had their say, and for dying Mainers to have this end-of-life option,” Lovelace said. “This law is full of safeguards modeled after decades of successful implementation in other states.”

The proposed law would allow adult Maine residents who have had two physicians confirm a terminal diagnosis to receive prescription medication to end their lives in a peaceful and dignified manner at a time and place of their choosing. A similar law has been in place in Oregon since 1997. In 20 years of implementation, the law has been used sparingly — only 1,275 times, which represents fewer than 4 in 1,000 deaths in the state. A third of those who obtain a prescription opt not to use it. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that Oregon is one of the best places in America for end-of-life care, with more people using hospice and dying at home than elsewhere in the U.S.

Maine Death with Dignity is a political action committee working to expand the rights of terminally ill patients to hasten their death with legally obtained prescription medication. The committee is working to pass an assisted-dying statute in the state of Maine through the 2019 ballot. For more information, visit www.MaineDeathwithDignity.org.