I have been following the assisted suicide issue closely for the previous several years. I am happy to see that Montanans Against Assisted Suicide is appealing its court case to the Montana Supreme Court. In the past two legislative sessions there have been bills brought before the House and the Senate for and against legalizing assisted suicide. Compassion and Choices [the former Hemlock Society] claims that assisted suicide is already legal in the state (it is not). That false rhetoric has carried to other news mediums, out-of-state legislative bodies and the general public . . . .
We need clarification on this issue once and for all. The Montana Medical Board of Examiners conduct in adopting their position paper, implying that assisted suicide is legal, was a dreadful overstep of its authority, complicated by failing to give public notice regarding the issue. [See MAAS petition here]
This issue will not go away until the Supreme Court undoes the mess it made with Baxter and resolves the issue by reversing the Baxter decision. The medical profession still has the respect of society. We must not allow that respect to be destroyed by putting this kind of power in the hands of doctors. Doctors can be wrong, yet the doctor is the one who ultimately will decide whether that patient is ready to die or not. This will change medical practice as we know it forever; the trust factor between patient and doctor will be destroyed.
Dr. David W. Hafer