Saturday, August 22, 2015

Most States Have Rejected Assisted Suicide

In the last five years, four states have strengthened their laws against assisted suicide. These states are: Arizona, Idaho, Georgia and Louisiana.

In the last 30 days, courts in New Mexico and California have rejected assisted suicide. The  New Mexico Court of Appeals struck down a lower court ruling that had allowed physician-assisted suicide. A California trial court declined to legalize physician-assisted suicide, holding that California's law prohibiting physician-assisted suicide is constitution.

This year, there have been 25 plus proposals to legalize physician-assisted suicide in the United States, not one of which has passed.[1]

There are just three states were physician-assisted suicide is legal: Oregon; Washington; and Vermont.  In a fourth state, Montana, case law gives doctors who assist a suicide a defense to a homicide charge; the doctor can still be charged.  In both Montana and Vermont, there are active movements to eliminate assisted suicide.[2]

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[1]  Death with Dignity National Center
[2]  In Montana, SB 202, which would have legalized physician-assisted suicide was defeated; HB 477, which would have reversed the court decision giving doctors a defense to a homicide charge, passed the House.  See and   See also