Friday, April 19, 2013

Assisted Suicide: Abuse cannot be controlled

This letter responds to the Associated Press article regarding the April 15 floor vote on House Bill 505, which failed to pass by a four-vote margin, 27-23. We are disappointed but are continuing our efforts to prevent assisted suicide legalization in Montana.

The AP article implies that assisted suicide is legal now, which is not the case. The Montana Supreme Court case, Baxter v. Montana, merely gives assisting doctors a potential defense to prosecution for homicide. The case offers no protection to non-doctors. The case gives no protection to anyone from being sued by angry family members who suddenly find their loved one dead from a lethal prescription. See this article by attorneys Greg Jackson and Matt Bowman at (“After Baxter, assisted suicide continues to carry both criminal and civil liability risks for any doctor, institution, or lay person involved”).

One reason we oppose legalization is due to the abuse that is already occurring in Montana in which patients are pressured to give up on treatment and/or are given morphine to cause their deaths without their consent. A prominent example is Dr. James Mungas, who was effectively euthanized against his will. To read his story, and other similar stories, please go visit [ ]  If the abuse cannot be controlled now, when assisted suicide and euthanasia are not legal, how will it be controlled if these practices are made legal?

Please contact us to join in the fight against assisted suicide. For more information, go to

Bradley Williams, president, Montanans Against Assisted Suicide, Hamilton