Sunday, February 3, 2013

Physician-assisted suicide: Permission is recipe for abuse

January 30, 2013 8:30 am
 
In the 2011 legislative session, Sen. Anders Blewett and I introduced competing bills in response to the Montana Supreme Court’s assisted-suicide case, Baxter v. State. The case did not legalize assisted-suicide. Its language was, however, a “toe in the door,” which could lead to legalization in the future.

Neither bill passed. His bill had sought to legalize assisted-suicide; mine had sought to reverse Baxter. This legislative session, there will likely be a similar contest.

The vast majority of states to consider assisted suicide have rejected it. In the past two years, three states have strengthened their laws against assisted suicide: Georgia, Louisiana and Idaho. Only two states allow it, Oregon and Washington. Their laws were enacted by initiative campaigns.

No such law has made it through the scrutiny of a legislature despite more than 100 attempts.

Legal assisted suicide is, regardless, a recipe for elder abuse in which heirs are empowered to pressure and abuse older people to cut short their lives. I urge you to tell your legislators that you support legislation to close on the door on assisted suicide in Montana.

To learn more, see this website: www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org

Greg Hinkle, Thompson Falls