Friday, April 9, 2010

Physician-assisted suicide is not “legal” in Montana; doctors and others participate at their peril.

From the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Montana State Senator Greg Hinkle:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition & Montana State Senator Greg Hinkle: Physician-assisted suicide is not “legal” in Montana; doctors and others participate at their peril.

MONTANA. Today, the Missoulian reported that the suicide/ euthanasia promotion group, Compassion & Choices, has claimed that more than one Montanan has used physician-assisted suicide since a Montana Supreme Court ruling was issued on December 31, 2010. http://www.missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_f857084e-4402-11df-8d38-001cc4c002e0.html.

The ruling in Baxter v. State, did not, however, “legalize” physician-assisted suicide in Montana. Baxter instead held that a physician accused of homicide for killing his or her patient would be allowed to assert a “consent of the victim defense.” Read analysis here: http://www.montanafamily.org/portfolio/pdfs/Baxter_Decision_Analysis_v2.pdf

Tellingly, the Missoulian article does not give the names of the doctors or other persons allegedly involved, who if they were involved, face potential criminal and civil liability or professional discipline.

Public policy reasons against physician-assisted suicide include its potential for abuse, for example, by an heir with designs on an older person’s assets.

April 9, 2010.
Alex Schadenberg
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
1-877-439-3348

Senator Greg Hinkle
Montana state Senate
406-827-4645

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