Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bill to legalize assisted suicide defeated in the Montana Judiciary Committee

Congratulations to everyone who worked in coalition to successfully defeat Senator Anders Blewett's bill SB 167 by a vote of 7 - 5 in the Montana Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 167 would have legalized assisted suicide in Montana.

Senator Greg Hinkle's - Elder Abuse Prevention Act - Bill SB 116, will reverse the Baxter court decision and prohibit assisted suicide in Montana will go to a vote soon.

I was told that the majority of the Montana Senators oppose assisted suicide, but many of them are unsure of where Montana citizens stand on the issue of assisted suicide.

A few Montana Senators have suggested that they oppose assisted suicide but thought that it was acceptable to maintain the status quo.

The fact is that the Status quo is unacceptable because Compassion & Choices, formerly the Hemlock Society, has been lying to Montana physicians by stating that they could prescribe a lethal dose for their patients without fear of prosecution. In other words, because Compassion & Choices is encouraging doctors to take the law in their own hands, that it is absolutely necessary for Montana legislators to support Senator Hinkle's Bill SB 116.

Finally, the news article from CNBC suggested that the Montana Governor may not sign the Hinkle bill into law. The fact is that everytime the Governor usurps the role of the House and Senate, he does so at a political cost. Bill SB 116 needs to be supported in order to protect Montana citizens from elder abuse.

The Montanans against Assisted Suicide and for Living with Dignity are working to get more people to write letters and call their Legislators.

A pro-assisted suicide article entitled: Bill to set rules for doc-assisted suicide fails was published today on CNBC

Now that the Blewett bill has been defeated in Montana, and a similar bill was also unanimously defeated in the Senate Health Committee in Hawaii last week, with a focused hard working effort, it is likely that the bills to legalize assisted suicide in New Hampshire and Vermont will likely also be defeated this Spring.

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