Legislation that would let doctors prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally-ill patients in Massachusetts is heading to a public hearing.

The bill would require the patient to have an illness which can reasonably be expected to cause death within six months. The patient must self-administer the drug.

The legislation would also require that before prescribing the drugs, the doctor must inform the patient about their diagnosis, prognosis, potential risks associated with the medication, and other options, including palliative care.

The request must be made in writing and be witnessed by two individuals _ as least one of whom isn't a relative or someone who would inherit any part of the patient's estate.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday before the Public Health Committee.

Voters rejected a similar ballot question in 2012.  (Associated Press)

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