Maine has become the eighth state to legalise medically assisted suicide.

Democratic Governor Janet Mills signed the bill on Wednesday. She had previously said she was unsure about the measure.

The proposal had failed once in a statewide referendum and at least seven previous times in the Legislature.

The current bill passed by just one vote in the House and by a small margin in the Senate.

It would allow doctors to prescribe terminally ill people a fatal dose of medication.

Opponents had called on the governor to veto the bill they said puts the terminally ill in “grave danger”.

Supporters say the terminally ill should have the right to choose a peaceful end.