The Republican-controlled Maine Senate has narrowly rejected a contentious bill that would provide terminally ill patients with the power to end their own lives.
The Senate voted 18-17 against the Republican Sen. Roger Katz's bill after nearly an hour of debate on Monday. It now heads to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
The bill would make Maine the sixth state in the country to allow physicians to provide lethal doses of medication to dying patients.
Supporters say that palliative care doesn't erase pain for all people and that the government shouldn't interfere in the medical decisions of those who are suffering.
But opponents said they feared the bill would send the message that Maine condones suicide and believes that some lives are less valuable than others.