Friday, January 1, 2010

A Half Decision Lays the Plan for Future Legislation.

The Montana Supreme Court could have answered the question once and for all but chose to side-step it. Robert Baxter, four Catholic Doctors and the nation's largest aid in dying advocacy group, Compassion and Choices, asked the court to determine that aid in dying was constitutional. Instead the court said it determined that nothing in the laws prohibited it.

The state argued that the issue should be taken up by the legislature, not the courts, and conservatives have been yelling about "activist judges" ever since McCarter made the district ruling last December. Yet, if you view patients' rights - the rights to medical services by those in need - as a human rights issue, civil rights showed that rarely do legislatures work hard enough to protect minorities.

From Conservative lifenews, the new plans being laid for a legislative outlaw of aid in dying in Montana:

Helena, MT ( -- Reaction is coming in form pro-life advocates responding to today's decision by the Montana Supreme Court that determined there is no right to assisted suicide but saying it is allowed under state law. The pro-life activists say the decision is definitely bad but could have been worse.

The Montana Supreme Court, today, released its long-awaited decision in the Baxter case on assisted suicide.

In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court vacated the lower court's decision that found a constitutionally-guaranteed right to physician assisted suicide, and, instead, found the practice legal on statutory grounds.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Jim Rice said that the majority badly misinterpreted our public policy. He said that assisting suicide has been explicitly and expressly prohibited by Montana law for the past 114 years.

Jeff Laszloffy of the Montana Family Foundation told, "Definitely not what we wanted, but not as bad as it could have been."

"While we would have preferred an outright reversal of the lower court's decision, this ruling is a partial victory," he explained. "The fact that the Court did not find a constitutional right to physician assisted suicide is good for those of us opposed to this abhorrent practice."

The pro-family leader told that the legislature should now get involved.

"What the court did, in essence, was to place the issue back into the hands of the legislature, where it should be," he said. "They said there's nothing currently in statute that prohibits the practice. It's now up to us to go into the next legislative session fully armed and ready to pass statutory language that says, once and for all, that physician assisted suicide is illegal in Montana."

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home