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Your Views: Legality of assisted suicide in Montana remains in the courts

POSTED: August 30, 2014 1:00 a.m.

I disagree with Joan King that assisted suicide, which she refers to by the euphemism "aid in dying," is legal in Montana.

I am president of Montanans Against Assisted Suicide. We are in litigation against the Montana Medical Examiners Board over the status of assisted suicide in Montana. As part of that lawsuit, we succeeded in getting the board to remove a position paper implying that assisted suicide is legal. For more information, please see this article by KLXF News.

MAAS is also seeking to overturn Montana’s Baxter case, which gives doctors who assist a suicide a potential defense to a homicide charge. In other words, under Baxter, a doctor who assists a suicide can be charged with homicide. A doctor who assists a suicide can also be sued.

Problems with legalizing assisted suicide include that it encourages people with years to live, to throw away their lives. Legalization also creates new opportunities for elder abuse, for example, when there is an inheritance involved.

For me, personally, the health care system is a big reason that I am against assisted suicide legalization. I am 65 years old. I don’t want some doctor telling me or my wife that we should go kill ourselves. Indeed, we have the right to be left alone.

Bradley D. Williams
President, Montanans Against Assisted Suicide, Hamilton, Mt.




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