Thursday, October 2, 2014

The perils of assisted suicide

I dispute commentator Alexa Fraser's claim that assisted suicide is legal in Montana. ("Political candidates should debate the right to die," Sept. 28),

I am president of Montanans Against Assisted Suicide, and we are in litigation against the Montana Medical Examiners Board over the status of assisted suicide in our state. MAAS is also seeking to overturn Montana's Baxter case, which gives doctors who assist a suicide a potential defense to a charge of homicide.

In Montana there was a recent case in which a man was charged with "aiding or soliciting" the suicide of a 16-year-old girl. He is accused of trying to prevent her from testifying against him in another matter by getting her to kill herself.

This story illustrates a fundamental problem with legalizing assisted suicide. The assistant can have his or her own agenda to encourage someone to kill themselves.

Bradley D. Williams, Hamilton, Mont.