Monday, March 16, 2015

HB 477 Passes Third Reading

Today, HB 477, providing that physician-assisted suicide is against public policy, passed on third reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, with a tie vote, 51 to 48.  The bill seeks to overturn Montana's Baxter decision, which gives doctors who assist a suicide a potential defense to a homicide charge.

Another bill, HB 328, which had also sought to overturn Baxter, failed 51 to 49.  SB 202, which would have legalized physician-assisted suicide, is apparently dead in Committee.

We thank everyone who helped us get this far, especially our sponsor, Representative Jerry Bennett, our volunteers and our financial contributors.

[UPDATE:  On April 28, 2015, HB 477 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee]

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bill Clarifying that Assisted suicide is a Crime, Passes House

The Montana House of Representatives endorsed a bill by one vote Thursday that would make it illegal for doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients who ask for it.
The House endorsed the bill 51-49 on second reading. If it passes third reading, the measure will head to the Senate for consideration.

“We do talk in this chamber about personal liberty, but with liberty comes with responsibility,” bill sponsor Rep. Jerry Bennett, R-Libby, said. “Suicide is a contagion. This creates a difficult situation for a state that has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.”

Republican Rep. Keith Regier of Kalispell added that House Bill 477 in his estimation is a suicide-prevention bill.

Under the measure, physician-assisted suicide would become a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $50,000 fine, or both.

Montana one step closer to reversing Baxter.

Today, the Montana House of Representatives voted to pass HB 477, which clarifies that "physician-assisted suicide" is prohibited and against public policy in Montana.  

To view HB 477, please click here.

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.