HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Lawmakers at the Capitol are again being asked to consider passing a law to allow aid in dying. The policy has been introduced as a bill more than a dozen times since 1995, but staunch opposition has prevented its passage.

The bill survived the Public Health Committee last year, but eventually died in the Judiciary Committee.

The debate is highly emotional as all sides have heart-wrenching stories to tell, which is why lawmakers have been reluctant to tackle the issue and bring it to a full vote.

Supporters say a change in the law would allow terminally ill, mentally competent patients the right to choose medical aid in dying.

In a dueling press conference, opponents from the Connecticut Alliance Against Assisted Suicide also spoke out. They say the change in the law could create a threat to people with disabilities who could be taken advantage of for their estates.

Kira Phillips lost her mother to suicide. Her mom was suffering from multiple myeloma, cancer of the backbones.

“My mom crawled out in the early morning hours to our backyard shed and shot herself,” Phillips said.        

Phillips is an advocate with Compassion and Choices. They unveiled a series of portraits of advocates who have died waiting for the general assembly to approve legislation.

Ten states and Washington, D.C. have legalized aid in dying. A terminally ill patient who only has six months to live will get a prescription for a lethal cocktail and ingest it. Patients must be 18 years and older and give both verbal and written consent.

Opponents from the Connecticut Alliance Against Assisted Suicide say the lethal cocktail has not been tested.

“These drugs are being used outside of the scope and are experimental at best,” said Dr. Rebecca Henderson, End of Life Care.

They add lawmakers should focus on palliative care and hospice care.

“The push for assisted suicide is not about pain,” said Cathy Ludlow, Advocate for Disabled. “It’s about loss. It’s about fear of disability.”

The American Medical Association and several faith groups are also opposed.

The Public Health Committee voted on Wednesday to raise this bill as a concept.

The portraits, created by Compassion & Choices Action Network, will be displayed in the walkway between the Legislative Office Building and the State Capitol through February.