BOSTON -- A Massachusetts ballot question that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill has been defeated.
The measure was defeated 51 percent to 49 percent with 96 percent of precincts counted.
A spokesman for the Death With Dignity Act campaign said in a statement early Wednesday that "regrettably, we fell short."
If passed, Massachusetts would have become the third state to allow terminally ill patients to get help from their doctors to end their lives with lethal doses of medication, joining Washington and Oregon.
Religious, medical and disability rights groups fought the measure.
Opposition group, the Com mittee Against Physician As sisted Suicide said Wednesday the measure lost because "voters came to see it as a flawed approach to end-of-life care."