Sunday, February 11, 2018

Utah: House Passes Bill Criminalizing Assisted Suicide

Rep Michael McKell
Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune 

The Utah House passed a bill Tuesday that would criminalize helping someone commit suicide — despite some concern from lawmakers that the bill could unintentionally target physicians or family members of terminally ill patients.

Rep. Michael McKell, R-Spanish Fork, has sponsored House Bill 86, which would amend Utah’s manslaughter statute to include assisted suicide. This means a person would be guilty of a second-degree felony — which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison — if prosecutors can prove he or she provided “the physical means” for someone to commit suicide.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Update: Prescribe or Refer: No More Jeanette Halls

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA
By Margaret Dore Esq., MBA

A Wisconsin bill seeking to legalize assisted suicide, requires the patient's attending physician to "prescribe or refer" i.e., to write a lethal prescription for the purpose of killing the patient, 
or to make an effective referral to another physician, who will do it.

The bill, AB 216, also says that the attending physician's failure to comply is "unprofessional conduct" such that the physician would be subject to discipline. The bill states:
[F]ailure of an attending physician to fulfill a request for medication [the lethal dose] constitutes unprofessional conduct if the attending physician refuses or fails to make a good faith attempt to transfer the requester's care and treatment to another physician who will act as attending physician under this chapter and fulfill the request for medication. (Emphasis added).*
A significance of prescribe or refer is that it's anti-patient, by not allowing doctors to use their best judgment for individual patients.