Bradley Williams from the group Montanan's Against Assisted Suicide, and a speaker at the upcoming Third International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, was published concerning the article that was published by Senator Blewett that claimed that assisted suicide was legal in Montana.
To the editor:
I disagree with Senator Blewett's editorial implying that assisted suicide is somehow legal in Montana. During this last legislative session, he proposed a bill seeking to accomplish that goal. The bill, however, died in Committee the day after it was heard.
Senator Blewett's bill, SB 167, was a response to the Baxter decision, which gives doctors who assist a patient's suicide, a potential defense to criminal prosecution. During hearings on the bill, Senator Blewett conceded that without the bill's passage, that there was nothing to prevent a doctor from being prosecuted for assisting a suicide. In other words, he conceded that assisted suicide was not already legal in Montana. He said: "[U]nder current law, a – there's nothing to protect the doctor from prosecution." I, personally, appreciate a little more credibility from our elected officials.
SB 167 would have imposed Oregon-style assisted suicide on our state. We do not need the "Oregon Experience." Oregon's regular suicide rate increased after that state legalized assisted suicide. Montana already has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. The Oregon Health Plan, a government entity, has also used Oregon's law to steer patients to suicide. The most well known cases involve Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup. Each wanted treatment, the Oregon Health Plan offered them suicide instead.
I am 62 years old and a taxpayer. I do not want a doctor or the State of Montana telling me or my wife to go kill ourselves. State-sanctioned suicide empowers the government and other people, not the individual.
For accurate information about Senator Blewett's bill, Link
Don't be fooled.
Bradley D. Williams, Coordinator
Montanans Against Assisted Suicide & For Living with Dignity