Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vote Yes on HB 477!

HB 477 clarifies that "physician-assisted suicide" is prohibited and against public policy in Montana.

Technically, the term refers to the actions of a physician to facilitate suicide by providing a patient with the means and/or information to do so.  In practice, other persons and institutions are involved, to steer patients to suicide for their own benefit.  Such other persons can include family members interested in a quick inheritance.

In Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal, examples include the Thomas Middleton case in which physician-assisted suicide was part of an elder abuse fraud.  See here.   

In Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal, young adults with chronic conditions such as diabetes are "eligible."  Such persons can have years, even decades, to live.  Consider also, Jeanette Hall, who was adamant that she would be doing assisted suicide, but was convinced to be treated instead.  Today, nearly 15 years later, she is "thrilled to be alive."  See here.

In Oregon, that state's Medicaid Plan steers people to suicide through coverage incentives.  For more information, see the affidavit of Kenneth Stevens, MD, at this link.

In Oregon, other conventional "violent" suicides have increased significantly with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide.  In Oregon, conventional suicides are a $41 million problem due to hospitalization costs, etc.  See here Legalization, regardless, sends the wrong message to young people that suicide is an acceptable solution to life's problems.  Montana already has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.

Physician-assisted suicide is against public policy for the following reasons:
  • It encourages people with years to live to throw away their lives.
  • It creates new paths of elder abuse.
  • It empowers healthcare systems to steer people to suicide.
Please tell the Montana Legislature to vote "YES" on HB 477.

To view HB 477, please click here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

SB 202 Tabled in Committee!

On February 11, 2012, SB 202, which would have legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in Montana, was tabled in Committee.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Defeat SB 202!

The Montana Legislature is considering SB 202, which if passed, would legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Montana.

Under the bill, young adults with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, would be "eligible" for assisted suicide/euthanasia.  Such persons can live long healthy lives, for years, even decades. 

The bill, if passed, it will create the following problems:
  • It will encourage people with years to live to throw away their lives.  
  • It will create new paths of elder abuse, especially in the inheritance context.
  • It will empower health care systems to steer patients to suicide, which is well documented in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal. 
If the bill is passed, and Montana follows the "Oregon experience," other conventional suicides will increase, which will create serious public welfare/financial issues in Montana (in Oregon, conventional suicides are a $41 million problem due to hospitalization costs, etc).
    To view documentation regarding these problems, and other problems with legalization, please click here for the text; click here for the attachments

    Please also tell the Montana Legislature to vote "NO" on SB 202.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Senator Shockley: Position Changed with Evidence

    October 24, 2014 6:30 am

    I am a former legislator and a lawyer who at one time favored permitting physician-assisted suicide, but changed my position after looking at the evidence.

    William Clarke is wrong about the legality of assisted suicide, and his definition of suicide, as described in his letter of Oct. 15. Physician-assisted suicide is against the law in Montana and killing oneself is suicide regardless of your health.

    The present law is the Baxter case, which says that under certain circumstances a physician who assisted someone to kill herself/himself has a defense to a charge of homicide. It is a defense if the doctor is charged with homicide, that does not make it legal. If the doctor is charged with homicide and can convince a jury of certain facts, he or she will not be convicted. If the doctor fails to do so, he or she is convicted of a felony. Of course, there is the civil liability of the doctor, which is not addressed at all by Clarke.

    Legalizing physician-assisted suicide will lead to elder abuse and other problems. The American Medical Association is against physician-assisted suicide for the same reason I am. It will lead to abuse of the elderly and others who are infirm, mentally or physically, but not really “terminally ill.” As an example, the much-touted Oregon law allows ordinary diabetes to be considered a terminally ill disease

    Jim Shockley,