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Hospice volunteers caress the hands of terminally ill patient Annabelle Martin, 95, as her health quickly declined at the Hospice of Saint John on September 1, 2009 in Lakewood, Colorado. The non-profit hospice, which serves on average 200 people at a time, is the second oldest hospice in the United States. The hospice accepts patients regardless of their ability to pay, although most are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. End of life care has become a contentious issue in the current national debate on health care reform.
Pro-choice, pro-life, the rather stark terms used to define the abortion debate which rages as passionately as ever. But another debate is increasingly making headlines, about how people who are terminally ill should be treated.
"Aid in Dying" as it's called, is seen by its supporters as giving dignity and choice to people at the end of their lives. Opponents fear it's a slippery slope to legally sanctioned murder. The latest battleground is in New Mexico. The BBC’s Matt Wells brings us this report.