Madison woman wants lawmakers to give "Compassionate Choices" bi - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison woman wants lawmakers to give "Compassionate Choices" bill a second look

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Angela Rhodes wants Wisconsin lawmakers to give "Compassionate Choices" bill a second look Angela Rhodes wants Wisconsin lawmakers to give "Compassionate Choices" bill a second look

MADISON (WKOW) --- A group of Dane County lawmakers introduced a "Compassionate Choices" bill earlier this week. The bill would allow anyone with a sound mind who is suffering from a terminal illness to medically end their life with a doctor's approval.

Angela Rhodes hasn't been able to work after being diagnosed with a form of lung cancer.

"In 2014, I was diagnosed Stage 4 small cell carcinoma lung cancer, which has since metastasized," Rhodes said.

After going through months of chemotherapy, she said she's ready to make the most difficult decision a person could make, to end her own life.

"I am now forced into a corner of making, speaking of choices, making the choice for myself while I'm still feeling good," Rhodes said.

Representative Sondy Pope (D- Mount Horeb) introduced a bill that would make it easier for people like Angela.

"The bill makes it legal for a person who has a terminal illness to ask for medication that will allow them to end their own life at the time that they choose."

The republican leader of the State Assembly Robin Vos said Thursday it's not something he can support.

"I feel like if we passed her version of the bill, or any bill like that, it really takes away hope and says that the only way out for a lot of folks is to end their lives. And I just can't accept that," Vos said.

Rhodes said it's a guessing game just how much longer she has to live.

"I'm currently on the second class on drugs that target my specific form of cancer. When this no longer works, there will be no other options."

She said she'll keep fighting as long as she can to help others going through this difficult decision.

"Living with the illness and making decisions for yourself are hard enough. But when you have to fight against not being able to make that choice for yourself, it's truly unbearable."

Rhodes said she has considered going to a state where compassionate choice is legal, but that would mean leaving behind family and friends.

She says she understands this is not for everyone. But she fears not having control over her final days.

Representative Pope admits the odds of the bill getting a full vote are very slim. Without the support of Speaker Vos, the "Compassionate Choices" bill stands little chance to pass the assembly.

On Tuesday, the assembly passed a bipartisan "Right to Try" bill - which allows terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs in an attempt to save their lives.

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