Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Assisted Suicide is Not Legal in Montana

This letter responds to the AP article regarding yesterday's floor vote on HB 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  http://www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/p/baxter-case-analysis.html ("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 here:  http://www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/2013/04/dont-give-doctors-more-power-to-abuse.html  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 www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org

Bradley Williams, President
Montanans Against Assisted Suicide,
A Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation
406 531 0937