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 .
We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.
Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on firstthings.com.
Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.
Will you give today?