Tuesday, March 17, 2015

HB 477 PASSES the House

Yesterday, HB 477, which overrules Montana's Baxter decision by clarifying that physician-assisted suicide is against public policy and prohibited, passed the House of Representatives.

Many thanks to our sponsor, Representative Jerry Bennett, for making this happen.

The next step is the Senate.

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.