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A group of lawmakers seeking to legalize dignified death held its first meeting Tuesday in Tokyo to discuss its plan to submit a bill on the issue to the Diet, group members said.

The group consists of lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan, and is headed by Taro Nakayama, an LDP member of the House of Representatives.

It has already come up with an outline of the bill based on guidelines of the Japan Society for Dying with Dignity, which has collected 138,000 signatures calling for the legislation.

The bill would allow doctors to terminate the use of respiratory aids or other life-prolonging treatment if a patient has expressed a desire for a dignified death.

Patients aged 15 or above would basically be allowed to express their will beforehand to refuse life-prolonging treatment, according to the outline of the bill.

Before submitting the bill to the ongoing Diet session, the group will discuss various aspects pertaining to the issue, including defining critical condition, life-prolonging treatment and the minimum age, they said.

They will also discuss whether doctors should be required to obey a patient’s desire for such a death.

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