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Washington supports lethal prescriptions, Michigan approves stem cell proposal

[JURIST] Washington is in line to become the second US state to permit physician-assisted suicide after voters there Tuesday supported Initiative Measure 1000 [text and materials; unofficial results], which would allow terminally ill, legally competent adults to obtain lethal prescriptions without exposing themselves, their physicians or others to criminal penalties. The measure is modeled on neighboring Oregon's Death with Dignity Act [official materials], enacted in 1997 and upheld [JURIST report] by the US Supreme Court in 2006. The Seattle Times has more.

Meanwhile, on another potentially life-and-death-related issue, voters in Michigan Tuesday approved a proposed constitutional amendment [Proposal 08-2 text, PDF; unofficial results] to "ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures" by permitting embryonic stem cell research under certain conditions while preserving the state's ban on human cloning. The Detroit Free Press has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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