Lila Sapinsley

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Secular and religious factions are forming over proposed “right to die” legislation making its way through the Senate. A hearing on the proposed bill is slated for Thursday. The proposed legislation would allow terminally ill, mentally sound patients to end their lives with the help of a physician.

The Rhode Island Catholic Conference is a vocal critic of the legislation, saying it violates the sanctity of life.

Aaron Read / RIPR

A bill that would enable terminally ill patients to manage their own deaths with medication prescribed by a doctor is slated for a House Health, Education and Welfare Committee hearing Wednesday.

Companion House and Senate versions of the so-called "Death with Dignity" bill are named for former Senate minority leader Llia Sapinsley, who died at 92 last December.

Rhode Island bade farewell and paid tribute today to former state Sen. Lila Sapinsley, a liberal Republican who became the first woman Senate Minority Leader, at funeral services at Temple Beth-El  in the Providence East Side district that she so ably represented.

Sapinsley, who died earlier this week at her Laurelmead home at 92, was eulogized by Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman as a path breaking woman of compassion, accomplishment and conviction.

Lila Sapinsley,  former state senator from Providence’s East Side and patron of arts, education  and good government causes, has died at her Laurelmead home in Providence. She was 92.

A liberal Republican, Sapinsley rose to become the first woman  Senate Minority Leader and was nearly elected lieutenant governor in 1984, an election she narrowly lost to Democrat Richard Licht.

The YWCA Rhode Island will hold the group’s 6th annual Women Holding Office Celebration on Monday April 28 at 6 p.m. at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln.

The keynote speech will be delivered by Rose Hidalgo, director of public policy for Casa de Esperanza in Washington, D.C.  The annual event celebrates the achievements of women in Rhode Island politics. This year, the premiere of a documentary about the first women elected mayors in the Ocean State will be presented.