Sunday, July 22, 2012

Montana Board Denies Hearing; New Legal Challenge Anticipated

On May 7, 2012, the Montana Board of Medical Examiners voted to postpone consideration of whether Position Statement No. 20 should be vacated.[1]  Position Statement No. 20 concerns "aid in dying," a euphemism for assisted suicide and euthanasia.[2]  The reasons given for the delay included "to allow additional time for public input."[3]

On July 6, 2012, Montanans Against Assisted Suicide filed additional "public input" including a letter and a legal memorandum titled:  "Summary of Legal Arguments Requiring Position Statement No. 20 to be Vacated as a Matter of Law."[4]  The letter requested twenty minutes oral argument.[5]

On July 20, 2012, the Board held the postponed hearing.  The Board acknowledged that it had received the above documents and also acknowledged the presence of Cory Swanson, attorney for Montanans Against Assisted Suicide.  The Board did not allow Mr. Swanson to speak.
The Board did, however, allow a presentation by a DLI staff attorney on position papers generally.  The Board asked him a few questions and voted to have their staff thank people in writing for their input. 

Montanans Against Assisted Suicide anticipates a further legal challenge.

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[1]  See Board of Medical Examiner Minutes for May 7, 2012, Item #5. 
[2]  See “Model Aid-in-Dying Act,” published in the Iowa Law Review at  Note the letters “euthan” in the link.
[3]  See note 1 at Item #4 (Comments by Craig Charlton and Anne O'Leary; the quote is from Ms. O'Leary).
[4]  To see letter, click here.  To see legal memorandumclick here
[5]  See letter in note 5.