BOSTON (AP) — Supporters of legislation that would legalize the right to die for the terminally ill have packed a Statehouse hearing alongside opponents.

The two bills would allow those with a terminal illness or condition to ask their doctor for life-ending drugs.

Supporters said at Tuesday’s hearing that the legislation would give those nearing death a sense of control. They said the bills include protections to ensure those seeking life-ending drugs are acting on their own and not out of depression or outside pressure.

Critics say they worry about creating any state-sanctioned method of ending lives. They say they are also concerned that the bills would send the message that the lives of the very ill are less valued than others.

A handful of states, including California and Vermont, have similar bills.

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