Monday, March 28, 2011

Ban in Idaho

From The Republic, below, a quick piece on a new ban in Idaho on "helping somebody else commit suicide." I haven't read the bill but wonder what exactly this means. Is the ban against a doctor prescribing fatal doses of a medicine? Yes. LifeNews writes that the bill "would revoke licenses from physicians who prescribe a lethal cocktail of drugs for patients to use to kill themselves. The law also allows people to get injunctions to prevent others from killing themselves with a doctor’s help. If it becomes law, those found guilty face five years in prison." But what is lethal? And who is to say that the doctor is responsible for a suicide? Could doctors be under greater scrutiny for the actions of their patients? Is it an overly-enthusiasitic reaction to "pro-life" efforts to thwart the momentum of the assisted suicide movement? Absolutely. Again from LifeNews:

"David Ripley of Idaho Chooses Life told, “No opposing testimony was presented at the hearing. During the Senate deliberations, the Idaho ACLU testified against the bill. Supporting testimony was provided by Cornerstone Institute, Right to Life, the Idaho Medical Association and attorney Bob Aldridge.”
“This is a tremendous victory for the pro-Life movement in Idaho. Such overwhelming votes should make it clear to the death lobby that they are not welcome in our beloved state,” he added.

Can the ban be used to prosecute those who remove PVS patients like Terri Schiavo from life support? Can the ban be used to punish spouses of those who commit suicide?

The House voted overwhelmingly to send a bill banning helping somebody else commit suicide to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for signature.

Monday's 61-8 vote came after brief debate on the chamber's floor.

Republican Rep. Lynn Luker of Boise argued that outlawing assisted suicide was necessary to help prevent abuse of elderly residents by their caregivers who are seeking to profit from their patients' demise.

Luker says this bill, which foresees penalties of five years in prison for violations, protects "all concerned."

Democratic Rep. Grant Burgoyne complained this is inappropriate government intervention in a private decision.

Burgoyne says, "My life is mine. It's mine for me to decide when and how it should end. It's not the business of the government to tell me when and how I should end it."

Read more here, and here.

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