Montana lawmakers to take up physician-assisted suicide ban


    Montana lawmakers are being asked to consider a bill that would make it illegal for a physician to prescribe drugs to hasten the death of a terminally ill patient. Photo: NBC Montana

    Montana lawmakers are being asked to consider a bill that would make it illegal for a physician to prescribe drugs to hasten the death of a terminally ill patient.

    The state Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that nothing in state law prohibits physician-assisted suicide. Since then, lawmakers have failed to pass bills that sought to either explicitly ban or legalize the act, leaving the practice in a gray area legally.

    A House bill to be heard Tuesday aims to change that. Under the measure, doctors who prescribe life-ending medication could be charged with homicide and they would be unable to use the patient's request for assistance as a defense.

    The bill does not refer to withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, which is allowed under the Montana Rights of the Terminally Ill Act.

    News In Photos

      Loading ...