Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Once and For All: Aid in Dying in Montana.

I've been enthusiastic about the recent decision by the Montana Supreme Court to allow aid in dying, making Montana the third state in the US to legalize aid in dying. But in truth, the decision gave the Montana Supreme Court only a cameo role in what will prove to be a much longer contentious fight for terminal patients' rights.

The court could have said that aid in dying was constitutional. It did not. It said that there was nothing in the states constitution or laws that prevented aid in dying, almost inviting the legislature, decidedly anti-choice despite public opinion to the contrary, to step in with laws that, as the President of Montana Family Foundation puts it, will end aid in dying "once and for all."

Jeff Laszloffy, president of the Montana Family Foundation, said the battle for life isn't over yet.

"It's up to us now to go into the next legislative session and put a statute in place that completely and once and for all bans physician-assisted suicide in the state of Montana," he said.

Now the question remains to be asked: is aid in dying the same as physician assisted suicide as the "pro-life" religious groups claim?

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