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Massachusetts voters narrowly defeat assisted-suicide proposal

November 07, 2012

Voters in Massachusetts have apparently defeated a referendum that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide, by a razor-thin margin.

While media outlets still called the results "too close to call" on the day after the election, proponents of Proposition 2 conceded defeat, admitting that they "fell short" in their campaign for approval.

Early polls had shown broad support for Proposition 2, but a determined coalition of opponents, including doctors and advocates for the disabled as well as religious leaders, advertised heavily to expose the weaknesses of the proposal. Serious flaws in the language of the referendum prompted the Boston Globe to editorialize against it, suggesting that advocates of “death with dignity” should seek another vehicle.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who had issued a series of statements opposing the referendum, welcomed its defeat. “Patients are best served when the medical professionals, families and loved ones provide support and care with dignity and respect," he said.


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