Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Georgia replaces assisted-suicide law that was tossed out

The American Medical News reported in the 'News-in-brief' on the law that prohibits assisted suicide in Georgia. The news item is in their May 21, edition and can be found online here.

The AMAD News accurately reported that only Oregon and Washington States have legalized assisted suicide.

The new law was put in place after the Final Exit Network assisted the suicide of John Celmer (58) who was depressed but recovering from cancer.

The news article is as follows:

Georgia replaces assisted-suicide law that was tossed out

Georgia has enacted legislation to outlaw physician-assisted suicide, replacing a law the state Supreme Court struck down in February on First Amendment grounds. The law makes it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for any licensed Georgia “health care provider” to knowingly and willfully assist in the commission of a suicide (legis.ga.gov/legislation/20112012/127675.pdf).
The law excludes from its definition of assisted suicide palliative care measures delivered with the sole intent of alleviating pain rather than causing death. With the law, enacted in May, Georgia joins more than two dozen other states with similar criminal statutes. Two states, Oregon and Washington, have laws authorizing doctor-aided death for terminally ill patients.
Georgia’s previous law was struck down because it barred the speech acts of advertising or offering assisted suicide services. The (Georgia) Supreme Court ruling led to the dismissal of charges against a physician and three other people accused of assisting in the suicide of a 58-year-old man with oral cancer.

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