Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Assisted Suicide is not legal in Montana

Bradley Williams, the coordinator of Montanans Against Assisted Suicide recently responded to an article in the Montana Standard, in reference to the Suicide Kit debacle where he clarifies concerning the fact that assisted suicide is not actually legal in Montana. The media regularily states that assisted suicide is legal in Montana but when you readt he transcript from Senator Blewett's testimony you will notice that even he acknowledges that assisted suicide is not really legal in Montana.Williams writes.

This letter is in response to Tami Abdollah's letter to the editor, "Suicide kits rekindle debate on assisted suicide." (May 26, 2011). I make two points.

First, it is not true that physician-assisted suicide is legal in Montana. In the 2011 legislature, Senator Blewett's bill, which would have accomplished that goal, failed. During the hearing on the bill,

SB 167, Senator Blewett also conceded that physician-assisted suicide is not legal in Montana. He said: "[U]nder current law, there's nothing to protect the doctor from prosecution." See here for transcript of his quote and other quotes to that same effect: Link to the Blewett Transcript.

Second, 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 physician-assisted suicide. This is consistent with the idea of a suicide contagion: normalizing one type of suicide can encourage other different suicides.

In other words, suicide begets suicide. Montana already has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. We do not

need any more.

Bradley Williams
Montanans Against Assisted Suicide

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