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Bishop Thomas Connolly, retired bishop of Baker, Ore., dies at 92

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Bishop Thomas J. Connolly, longtime spiritual leader of diocese of Baker, Ore., died Friday at age 92. He had lived at Maryville Nursing Home since 2011.

Over the years, Connolly took to horseback to help ranchers bring cattle to winter pasture. He drove between 30,000 and 35,000 miles per year in his spread-out diocese in eastern Oregon.

"Give it all you've got," the bishop said of priesthood in 2007. "By its essential nature, priesthood is a marvelous vocation. God is good and so are the people."

Half of US states consider right-to-die legislation

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More than a dozen states, plus the District of Columbia, are considering controversial medically assisted death legislation this year.

The laws would allow mentally fit, terminally ill patients age 18 and older whose doctors say they have six months or less to live to request lethal drugs.

Oregon was the first state to implement its Death with Dignity Act in 1997 after voters approved the law in 1994, and four other states -- Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington -- now allow for medically assisted death.

'Don't give up hope': Archbishop responds to woman's suicide plan

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As a young California woman gained national attention for her plan to use Oregon's assisted suicide law, Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland issued a statement saying the Oregon law puts forward illusion and confusion.

At the start of 2014, newlywed Brittany Maynard learned she had brain cancer. A few months after she underwent two surgeries, doctors delivered the news that the cancer had returned and that most patients die from such tumors in about a year. She decided against further treatment.

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