In a very strange decision, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that the living will statute of Montana can be used as a defense by doctors who lethally prescribe, when the patient is terminally ill and the poison is self administered.  This is an audacious decision in one regard—as far as I know that theory wasn’t thoroughly briefed or argued—a point acknowledged in the decision.  That should demand a motion for reconsideration so that can be done—particularly given that the U.S. Supremes ruled unanimously in Vacco v. Quill that there is a legal and factual distinction between withdrawing life support and assisting suicide.  The good news is that statutory interpretations can be remedied in the legislature.  The bad news, it seems to me, is that the court used the advocacy term “aid in dying” as a legitimate medical treatment. More analysis and details over at Secondhand Smoke .

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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