Thursday, April 30, 2009

ISDB Files Amicus Brief Opposing Legalized Physician-Assisted Suicide in Montana

The Institute for the Study of Disability and Bioethics yesterday joined with the Bioethics Defense Fund, and the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, in filing a friend of the court brief appealing the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Montana.

Hard on the heels of last November’s ballot initiative legalizing assisted suicide in Washington State, a Montana trial court judge ruled that Montanans had both a right to die and a right to physician-assisted suicide. The judge made it clear that she understood that Montana had no safeguards in place for physician-assisted suicide, and no legal definitions of the crucial terms competent or terminally-ill, conditions legally specified in both Oregon and Washington. Further, the court indicated that the decision for physician-assisted suicide should be the sole responsibility of physicians, despite there being no legal guidelines specifying how doctors might establish whether a person requesting physician-assisted suicide was competent to do so or not.

Read the filed brief here.

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