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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

House Votes To Criminalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Michael Wright - Community News Service
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UPDATE - 03/13/15: On third reading today, House Bill 477 criminalizing physician-assisted suicide failed on a 50 to 50 vote in the House.

Today at the Montana Legislature, the House  passed a bill that would criminalize physician-assisted suicide. Proponents say patients contemplating suicide can be coerced. Sponsor of House Bill 477, Republican Representative Jerry Bennett of Libby, added that he believes suicide, even at the end of life, tends to spread.

“It’s contagious...One family in my county, the grandfather committed suicide, the father committed suicide, and one nephew committed suicide.”

Opponents of the bill argue that it’s a person’s right to decide when and how they die. One such opponent is Republican Representative Mike Miller of Helmville.

“It’s my life. I will live it, I will end it how I want. That is between my wife, myself, my God and my physician.”

The bill passed the House 50-49. It faces a final vote tomorrow before it heads to the Senate.  ?

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