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Bill allowing living wills for pregnant women clears House

April 24, 2018 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers are moving closer toward allowing pregnant women to carry out a living will or other advance directive, including the withholding or withdrawal of life support.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of the legislation, which ends the state’s little-known pregnancy exception. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Democratic Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport, a co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee, says “there’s simply no reason that pregnant women shouldn’t be afforded the same right” to have their final wishes followed by medical professionals.

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Dr. Matthew Drago, a neonatologist and bioethicist at Yale University, has encountered two patients who became permanently unconscious during pregnancy. He says Connecticut’s pregnancy exception is medically unethical “because it forces doctors to ignore patients’ stated wishes.”