Medical Aid in Dying Survives in Montana

The full Montana Senate today voted today to reject a House-approved bill that would have allowed the state to imprison, and potentially sentence doctors to the death penalty, for writing a prescription for aid-in-dying medication for a terminally ill adult who requests it to peacefully end their suffering. The bill failed to pass when a bipartisan majority of 27 senators, including seven Republicans, voted no vs. 22 senators who voted yes. HB 284 is the fifth failed legislative attempt in a decade to reverse the Montana Supreme Court’s 2009 Baxter decision authorizing medical aid in dying. The court ruled that medical aid in dying specifically deferred to a patient’s own decisions and affords terminal patients the right to die on their own terms. After today’s vote, this end-of-life freedom remains intact.If charged with and convicted for deliberate homicide under this failed “Physician Imprisonment Act,” doctors who honor their…

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