Senator Hinkle was quoted as stating:
“It’s basically to prevent elder abuse,” Hinkle said. “They talk about choice, but in many cases, there is no choice made. Once the decision is made to commit suicide, they put the decision in the hands of other people — the doctor and the family.”
Legalizing physician-assisted suicide “opens a Pandora’s box,” Hinkle said, and “I don’t believe the people of Montana want to go there.”
While Representative Barrett was quoted to have said:
“My sense is that terminally ill Montanans really do want to have this choice available to them, not that large numbers of people take advantage of it,”
“I think the Supreme Court said it would be consistent with the rights of the terminally ill that Montanans are currently given in the statutes. Terminally ill Montanans and most Americans have the right to hasten their deaths by refusing treatment, food and water.”
It is interesting to note that Compassion & Choices have claimed that assisted suicide was legalized by the Baxter decision while Barrett is saying that he believes that Montanans want to have assisted suicide legalized.
The fact is that the Baxter decision did not legalize assisted suicide, but rather stated that physicians who are prosecuted for assisted suicide could use a "defense of consent."
Therefore assisted suicide remains illegal but if charged with the crime, the physician will say that the person consented to their death.
Barrett claims that:
The evidence from Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide has been available since 1998, shows that this concern is unfounded, Barrett said. Oregon law provides a number of safeguards to ensure that only willing patients make the requests.
The reality is that Compassion & Choices has cornered the assisted suicide market in Oregon. Last year 97% of all assisted suicides in Oregon were facilitated by Compassion & Choices.
Compassion & Choices is a lobby group that promotes assisted suicide and at the same time facilitates the law. No wonder the information that we receive from Oregon proves little more than what condition the person had before requesting assisted suicide and the age of the person when they died, etc.
Further to that, Philip Nitscke, Australia's Dr. Death, quickly moved into Washington State after they legalized assisted suicide through a voter initiative. Nitschke is known for marketing suicide manuals, devices and drugs via the internet and for organizing suicide workshops for people over the age of 50.
It was also interesting that Compassion & Choices in Washington state had more information than the Washington state government, when the first government assisted suicide report was released.
Does Montana want Representative Dick Barrett to introduce a law that will give Compassion & Choices control over their deaths and Nitschke a new place to tour with his death devices and manuals?
Link to a recent article about the Montana Patient Protection Act: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/07/suicide-ruling-ignores-abuse.html
Link to an article concerning the Montana Baxter decision: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/04/physician-assisted-suicide-is-not-legal.html
Link to the original article: http://helenair.com/news/article_964ad35a-8b20-11df-b14f-001cc4c03286.html