Archive for Sunday, December 7, 2008

Judge: Man has right to assisted suicide

December 7, 2008


— A Montana judge has ruled that doctor-assisted suicides are legal in the state, a decision likely to be appealed as the state argues that the Legislature, not the court, should decide whether terminally ill patients have the right to take their own life.

Judge Dorothy McCarter issued the ruling late Friday in the case of a Billings man with terminal cancer, who had sued the state with four physicians that treat terminally ill patients and a nonprofit patients’ rights group.

“The Montana constitutional rights of individual privacy and human dignity, taken together, encompass the right of a competent terminally (ill) patient to die with dignity,” McCarter said in the ruling.

It also said that those patients had the right to obtain self-administered medications to hasten death if they find their suffering to be unbearable, and that physicians can prescribe such medication without fear of prosecution.


sustainabilitysister 9 years, 4 months ago

Why is this practice deemed "humane" for non-human animals and "murder" for humans?

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 4 months ago

This is going to be a hot topic as people are living longer but without the quality of life.

jmadison 9 years, 4 months ago

This is an issue that needs to be decided by the electorate, not by the judiciary.

Bubarubu 9 years, 4 months ago

The judiciary does not decide what the law should be, but what it is. The law in MT, as it is, allows for the terminally ill to choose the time and manner of their own deaths. Changing the law is the job of the legislature, so let's dispense with the idea that the judiciary has somehow usurped the legislature in this case.But the larger issue is why the other people of my state should get to control the time and manner of my death. Would my death do them any harm? Does my death impinge on the exercise of some right of theirs? By what authority does the population of the state justify making my death illegal?

jonas_opines 9 years, 4 months ago

"This is an issue that needs to be decided by the electorate, not by the judiciary."Why? It only effects individuals, making it a prime case for the electorate majority to exercise oppressive control over the individual.

jmadison 9 years, 4 months ago

In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that terminally ill patients have no constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide, but did nothing to prevent states from legalizing the process, per the AP story reporting this event. If the electorate's representatives in the legislature choose to legalize euthanasia, then so be it, but a single judge should not be legislating from the bench regarding this matter.

Tom McCune 9 years, 4 months ago

Good job, Judge Dorothy. Keep theofascist busybodies and government bureaucrats out of out private lives (and deaths).

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