Showing posts with label HB 505. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HB 505. Show all posts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Montana: Great News! HB 505 Voted to the Floor!!!!

This afternoon, the Montana Senate "blasted" HB 505 to the floor in a 31 to 17 Vote!!!!
Thank you to everyone else who worked so hard to get us this far!!!


Margaret Dore

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Once in place, this 'trend' is not controllable"

Dear Senators:

For those of you who don't know me, I am an attorney in Washington state where physician-assisted suicide is legal. I am writing to urge you to not make Washington's mistake by allowing assisted suicide/euthanasia to become part of your state's legal fabric.  Once in place, this "trend" is not controllable.  I urge you to vote "Yes" on HB 505 to clearly state that assisted suicide is not legal in Montana. 

In 2008, we voted for a law to legalize assisted suicide for persons predicted to have less than six months to live.  Voters were promised that "only" the patient could take the lethal dose.  Our law does not say that anywhere.  By 2011, there were newspaper proposals to expand our law to direct euthanasia for non-terminal persons.  Last year, a friend sent me this article in our largest paper suggesting euthanasia for people unable to afford their own care, which would be involuntary euthanasia.  See ("After Monday's column,  . . . a few [readers] suggested that if you couldn't save enough money to see you through your old age, you shouldn't expect society to bail you out.  At least a couple mentioned euthanasia as a solution.")  (Emphasis added).

In my law practice, I have had two clients whose parents signed up for the lethal dose.

In one case, one side of the family wanted the parent to take the lethal dose while the other did not.  The parent spent the last  months of his life traumatized and/or struggling over the decision of whether or not to kill himself.  My client was also traumatized.  The parent did not take the lethal dose and died a natural death

In the other case, it's unclear that the parent's death was voluntary.  This was due to his reportedly refusing to take the lethal dose at his first suicide party and then being high on alcohol the next night when he drank the dose at a second party.  (The person who told this to my client recanted).  But, as a lawyer who has worked on divorce cases, I couldn't help but notice that if the parent's much younger wife had divorced him, the parent would have got the house.  This way, the surviving wife got everything. 

Meanwhile, my friends who provide elder care report that they now have to "guard" their clients in the hospital to avoid the initiation of "comfort care" (morphine overdose and the sudden death of the client).   See e.g.


In Montana, you have had similar developments.  In 2007, the Baxter case was initiated seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide for "terminally ill adult patients," the implication being that the practice would be limited to dying people.  The proposed definition of "terminally ill adult patient," however, was broad enough to include an otherwise healthy 18 year old dependent on insulin.  See 

In late 2009, the Baxter opinion was issued in your Supreme Court ruling that doctors who assist a suicide in certain narrowly defined circumstances have a defense to prosecution if charged with homicide.  Since then, I have been contacted by several Montanans describing the misuse or abuse of "comfort care" against their loved ones.  Three of these persons have specifically endorsed HB 505, see for example, this letter by Carol Mungas, the widow of a prominent physician who was euthanized by nurses against his will.  See  

Last month in the Senate Judiciary Committee, a doctor described his assisting three suicides in Montana.  See 

If he is not prosecuted, or if the prosecution fails, assisted suicides will thereby be encouraged and, given Washington's experience, there will be a push to expand the practice to less compelling cases, for example, persons with treatable diabetes.  If, instead, HB 505 is enacted, there will be a clear statement going forward that assisted suicide is not legal in Montana.

This is why HB 505 is needed now.

Thank you for your consideration.

Margaret Dore
Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P.S.
Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation
1001 4th Avenue, 44th Floor
Seattle, WA 98154

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"This ad is appalling, even by the low standards of Compassion & Choices"

Dear Montana Senate Judiciary Members:

I am a probate attorney from Washington State where assisted suicide is, unfortunately, legal.

I recently saw an ad by “Compassion and Choices” which contained an over-the-top depiction of a doctor in handcuffs.  This ad is appalling, even by the low standards of Compassion in Choices.  (Compassion and Choices is a successor organization of the Hemlock Society, originally founded by Derek Humphry.  In 2011, Humphry was keynote speaker and Compassion and Choices annual meeting here in Washington.  He was also in the news as a promoter of mail-order suicide kits after a 29 year old man used one of the kits to commit suicide).*

HB 505 is needed to protect seniors and others from the ultimate in financial and physical abuse.  I urge you to vote YES.  Thank you.

Theresa Schrempp
Seattle, WA  

*  For supporting authority and more information, go here:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

More Big News From Montana! We Passed the House!

Last week, HB 505 passed the House!

So, now the former Hemlock Society is gearing up the misinformation campaign.

Will keep you posted!

Meanwhile, enjoy the victory!

Thank you to everyone who made this possible.


Margaret Dore

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Big News From Montana. WE WON!

HB 505, which clarifies the offense of aiding or soliciting suicide, just passed second reading in the Montana House of Representatives!

The bill’s other purpose is to prevent the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Montana. 

The vote was 54 to 45!

Thanks you everyone for your help!

Way to go!!!!!

Margaret Dore, President
Choice is an Illusion,
a Nonprofit Corporation