Senate Bill 220 seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in the state of Montana. Its short title is “Establish guidelines and immunities for physicians who provide end of life care” sponsored by Dick Barrett and is scheduled for a hearing on Feb. 11 at 10 am. in room 303 at the state Capitol building in Helena.
On the Montanans Against Assisted Suicide website Margaret Dore explains:
“SB 220 is a recipe for elder abuse. The patient's heir, who will benefit from the patient's death, is allowed to talk for the patient during the lethal dose request process. The heir is also allowed to pick up the lethal dose at the pharmacy. After that, there's no oversight over administration. Even if the patient struggled, who would know?”
According to the logic of this bill, an heir will be able to do what the patient is supposed to do according to a law that says they can. Furthermore, is this really something physicians want on their backs, even if they can “get away with it?”
Dore determines from the introduction to the legal analysis of SB 220, that “… the claim that SB 220 will assure patient control is untrue. SB 220 is instead a recipe for elder abuse. The bill puts the elderly in the crosshairs of their heirs and abusive family members,” and furthermore “SB 220 also eliminates safeguards such as waiting periods that supposedly render the Oregon and Washington laws safe. Doctor reporting is also eliminated."
This naturally raises the question, what is safe medical practice when someone is deliberately killed as an end result of a medical procedure? Any physician in this state would hopefully agree that although death happens in medical practice, the life-saving techniques of physicians are surely the reasons why many people trust them.