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Assisted suicide a recipe for elder abuse

2013-02-04T00:00:00Z 2013-02-04T09:11:05Z Assisted suicide a recipe for elder abuse The Billings Gazette
February 04, 2013 12:00 am

In the 2011 legislative session, another senator and I introduced competing bills in response to the Montana Supreme Court's assisted-suicide case, Baxter v. State. The case did not legalize assisted-suicide. Its language was, however, a "toe in the door," which could lead to legalization in the future.

Neither bill passed. The other senator's bill had sought to legalize assisted-suicide; my bill had sought to reverse Baxter. This legislative session, there will likely be a similar contest.

The majority of states to consider legalizing assisted-suicide have rejected it. In the last two years, three states have strengthened their laws against assisted-suicide: Georgia, Louisiana and Idaho. Only two states allow it, Oregon and Washington. Their laws were enacted by initiative campaigns.

No such law has made it through the scrutiny of a Legislature despite more than 100 attempts.

Legal assisted-suicide is, regardless, a recipe for elder abuse in which heirs are empowered to pressure and abuse older people to cut short their lives. I urge you to tell your legislators that you support legislation to close on the door on assisted-suicide in Montana.

To learn more, see this website:

Greg Hinkle

Thompson Falls

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