The Public Health Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature will hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill that seeks to legalize doctor-assisted suicide in certain circumstances. 
The bill would allow a person with a terminal illness — defined in this case as someone with a prognosis to live of six months or less — to get a prescription for life-ending medication from a doctor. The patient must be a Massachusetts resident over the age of 18 and deemed capable of making and communicating complex informed decisions.
The bill includes several safeguards, including stipulating that the prescribing doctor bears the burden of determining whether there's a terminal illness and whether the patient has the capability to make this decision. The bill also requires the doctor to discuss treatment alternatives with the patient, and requires a second opinion before the medicine can be prescribed.
WGBH legal analyst and Northeastern law professor Daniel Medwed says he thinks the bill has a chance of passing, but he also raises potential roadblocks.