MONTPELIER (AP) - Debate over legislation that would allow physicians to provide lethal medication to terminally ill patients who request it is expected to come to a head this week at the Vermont Statehouse.

The House has passed a version of the bill with a series of safeguards similar to a law that's been in place in Oregon for 15 years. The Senate has passed a shorter version that would simply relieve health workers and family members of civil or criminal liability when a patient ends her or his own life.

The Senate is evenly divided over the legislation, and passage of a version closer to the Oregon-style bill the House passed could depend on just one vote changing in the Senate.

The House is not expected to agree with the Senate version.