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Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 4:05am

Assisted Suicide Ban Nears Passage

Assisting in another person's suicide would be become a felony crime in Georgia punishable by up to a decade in prison under legislation passed Tuesday by the Senate.

The legislation responds to a state Supreme Court ruling in February that struck down a 1994 law banning people from publicly advertising suicide. It passed by a vote of 48-1. The House has already approved the measure, but must now approve the Senate's changes.

That ruling meant that four members of the Final Exit Network charged in February 2009 with helping a 58-year-old cancer patient die would not have to stand trial.

Sen. William Ligon of Brunswick, who sponsored the bill in the chamber, says the practice is something that needs to be stopped in Georgia.