Sunday, January 12, 2020

Massachusetts court rules there is no right to assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A Massachusetts Superior Court decision that was released on Friday, January 10 concluded that there is no right to assisted suicide in Massachusetts.
This is not the first decision of its type in the United States, in fact there have been several cases that were simply dismissed by the court, while others were heard and also found that there is no right to assisted suicide.

WBUR news in Massachusetts published a report by Martha Bebinger and Carey Goldberg explaining the ruling in the civil case brought by Dr. Roger Kligler, a retired Cape Cod physician who has advanced prostate cancer, and Dr. Alan Steinbach, who treats terminally ill patients.

Bebinger and Goldberg explained:
The new ruling affirms that assisted suicide can be considered manslaughter, even if the patient self-administers the lethal medication without help from the doctor. 
It also rejects the claims that the manslaughter law is too vague as applied to aid in dying, and that it is unfair to treat patients who take drugs to die differently from patients who stop eating and drinking to die. 
The ruling concludes by noting that there's a strong consensus that the issue of medical aid in dying is best decided by lawmakers, not judges, and that there are strong arguments both for and against it. 
"The legislature, not the court, is ideally positioned to weigh these arguments and determine whether and if so, under what restrictions, [medical aid in dying] should be legally authorized," Superior Court Justice Mary Ames wrote.
Therefore the court concluded that there is no right to assisted suicide in Massachusetts and acts of assisted suicide will be prosecuted as manslaughter.


Dr. Jeff Koloze said...

Congratulations to those who fight for the first civil right, the right to life, and oppose the medical killing called assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Karen Dwyer said...