Monday, March 6, 2017

Montana assisted suicide vote defeated in error.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

For the past few years Montana has faced a confusing situation with respect to assisted suicide. In 2009, the Baxter court decision declared that Montana citizens had a right to assisted suicide. The Baxter decision was appealed to the Montana Supreme Court that decided that Montana citizens do not have a right to assisted suicide but even though the Court did not overturn the statute protecting Montana citizens from assisted suicide the Court did grant a tightly worded defense of consent, if a physician was prosecuted for assisted suicide.
Since the Montana Supreme Court decision, the assisted suicide lobby has claimed that assisting a suicide is legal in Montana, but in fact assisted suicide is technically prohibited.

This year Rep Brad Tschida introduced House Bill 365 that stated consent is not a defense in assisting a suicide. HB 365 would have clarified that assisting a suicide is prohibited in Montana.

Last Wednesday, HB 365 failed on the final vote in a 50 to 50 tie vote, and yet HB 365 had the votes to pass. According to the Missoulian Rep Peggy Webb accidentally voted against HB 365 on the final vote.

“It was a mistake,” said Rep. Peggy Webb, R-Billings, who changed from a vote for the bill Tuesday to a vote against Wednesday. “I hit yes and then thought, ‘No, I don’t want assisted suicide,’ and changed the vote. It was too late to change it back.” Her vote went from yes to no. 
Votes can’t be changed if they would alter the outcome of the vote, which was the case with Webb's vote. House Bill 365 was carried by Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Missoula.
Considering the fact that the media is constantly brainwashing the public with the message that Americans want assisted suicide, it is a sad reality that HB 365 died on a failed vote.

Thank you to the Montanans Against Assisted Suicide for all of their work.

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