Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
LifeNews: Attorneys Greg Jackson and Matt Bowman did an extensive analysis of the case and concluded it “did not legalize assisted suicide and it continues to carry both criminal and civil liability for any doctor, institution, or lay person involved.” The Montana Lawyer, the official publication of the Montana State Bar concluded the issue is open to argument, confirming that the legislature needs to clarify the issue this coming session.
No, physician-assisted suicide is not legal in Montana: Its a recipe for abuse and more | The Montana Lawyer
State Senator Jim Shockley and Margaret Dor at the Montana Lawyer at p. 8 (Nov. 2011): Attorneys Greg Jackson and Matt Bowman provide this analysis: If the idea of suicide itself is suggested to the patient first by the doctor or even by the family, instead of being on the patient’s sole initiative, the situation exceeds “aid in dying” as conceived by the Court. If a particular suicide decision process is anything but “private, civil, and compassionate,” . . . , the Court’s decision wouldn’t guarantee a consent defense. If the patient is less than “conscious,” is unable to “vocalize” his decision, or gets help because he is unable to “self-administer,” or the drug fails and someone helps complete the killing, Baxter would not apply. No doctor can prevent these human contingencies from occurring in a given case . . . in order to make sure that he can later use the consent defense if he is charged with murder. (Analysis of Implications of the Baxter Case on Potential Criminal Liability, Spring 2010, at www.montanansagainstassistedsuicide.org/p/baxter-case-analysis.html)
Barbara Coombs Lee at the Huffington Post: When legislators convened in Helena in January 2011, they considered two bills related to aid in dying. One would nullify the Court’s ruling and repeal the end-of-life freedom people had come to appreciate. The other itemized the steps to evaluate a request and provided civil and regulatory immunity for following them. Neither bill passed a committee or reached the governor’s desk.
The Montana Supreme Court Legalizes Assisted Suicide
A dozen years after the United States Supreme Court penned [its decision] Washington v. Glucksberg, Montana became the third state where physician assisted suicide is ‘legal.’ However, it is the first state where this change occurred as a result of a court decision, as opposed to legislative action . . .”
LifeNews: “A Montana pro-life group has issued a new analysis saying the decision by the state’s Supreme Court to allow assisted suicide there didn’t legalize the practice. The Montana Family Foundation says doctors who engage in the practice may still be charged for homicides there despite the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in the Baxter case. The pro-life group hired two attorneys, Greg Jackson of Montana and Matt Bowman with the Alliance Defense Fund, to analyze the controversial decision . . . ”
KAJ18: “The Montana Family Foundation based in Laurel says a Montana Supreme Court decision last year did not legalize physician assisted suicide. … The foundation hired two attorneys to analyze the decision. Defense attorney Greg Jackson of Montana and Matt Bowman with the Alliance Defense Fund in Washington, DC analyzed the Supreme court ruling in Baxter v. State of Montana.”
Montana Family Foundation: “A legal analysis of the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in Baxter v. Montana shows how the decision still allows physicians to be charged with homicide. The analysis of the of the decision was written by attorneys Greg Jackson and Matt Bowman, at the request of the Montana Family Foundation . . . ”
Cathleen Kaveny writing at Commonweal: “The Baxter decision is radical: it says that intentional killing isn’t always a matter of public concern. It is stealthy. By refraining from finding a state constitutional right to assisted suicide, it avoided immediate criticism for judicial activism. It is politically canny. It put the burden of action on opponents. Most troubling of all, its strategy is portable. There’s no reason its contorted logic can’t be exported to other states by euthanasia activists.”
E. Christian Bugger writes at the Culture of Life Foundation: In late December, Montana became the third state (behind Washington and Oregon) to permit physician assisted suicide to terminally ill patients. The State Supreme Court in Baxter et al. v. State of Montana was considering an appeal of a ruling from a lower district court dated December 2008 . . . the court’s tortured ‘reasoning,’ . . . departs so far from commonly accepted ways of moral reasoning (which are not the province only of educated moral theologians, but available rationally to all thinking persons) that not only it but the system that tolerates it deserve criticism. Judges should not be able to engage in irrational textual or other argument just because they’re judges . . . ”
ChattahBox: “The Montana case has drawn wide national attention, with advocates for physician-assisted suicide weighing in on the side of Baxter and his doctors lining up against conservative groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and the Family Research Council sided with Montana’s attorney general against physician-aided suicide.”
LifeNews: “Jeff Laszloffy of the Montana Family Foundation told LifeNews.com, ‘Definitely not what we wanted, but not as bad as it could have been. While we would have preferred an outright reversal of the lower court’s decision, this ruling is a partial victory,’ he explained. ‘The fact that the Court did not find a constitutional right to physician assisted suicide is good for those of us opposed to this abhorrent practice.’”
NPR: “The Montana case has drawn wide national attention, with advocates for physician-assisted suicide weighing in on the side of Baxter and his doctors. Meanwhile, conservative groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and the Family Research Council sided with Montana’s attorney general against physician-aided suicide.”
LifeNews: “The high court did not determine if the Montana constitution guarantees a right to assisted suicide but said nothing in state law or the precedent of the court prevented assisted suicide . . . The Montana Supreme Court received 19 amicus briefs, including one from attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life group who filed their brief in April.”
“The Supreme Court disagreed that the Montana Constitution guarantees the right. But it said in an opinion Thursday that ‘we find nothing in Montana Supreme Court precedent or Montana statutes indicating that physician aid in dying is against public policy.’”