Critical condition

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This week the Indy takes a look at the Montana Legislature's debate over a terminally ill patient's right to request life-ending medication from a physician. The news is changing fast; just this afternoon the Senate rejected a motion by Sen. Greg Hinkle, R-Thompson, to blast his aid in dying ban out of committee. But with Montana poised to become the third state in the country to pass a Death with Dignity Act—provided Sen. Anders Blewett, D-Great Falls, is successful in blasting his own bill onto the Senate floor—the discussion remains as important as ever.

One of the individuals anxiously awaiting a decision from the state is Wade Nelson, a Thompson Falls resident who has taught in a number of Montana schools including Missoula's own Sentinel High School. Nelson spoke with the Independent last week about his five-year battle with cancer, and the fact that when his health begins to fail five to seven years from now he hopes the decision to end his life in peace will be his to make. But Nelson isn't the gloom-and-doom type. He's a painter with a real flair for landscapes. You can catch his work early next year at two one-man shows in Montana: the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, and the Holter Museum in Helena.

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