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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Criminalizing Physician Assisted Suicide On Thursday's Legislative Agenda

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus
Montana Public Radio

Thursday at the Montana Legislature will bring round two for a bill that would make it a crime for doctors to help someone die, making them face up to 10 years in jail and/or a $50,000 fine. Montana’s current law allows a physician to offer aid in dying if a patient is diagnosed with 6 months or less to live.

Republican Representative Jerry Bennett is carrying House Bill 477. Both of his parents were diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and he says helping suicide at any point is wrong.

“To take a life, whether you’re a doctor or, you know, a friend, is wrong.”

Opponents like Democratic Representative Tom Woods argue that it’s an individual’s right to decide how they die, not the government’s.

“We as government officials have no business interfering with decisions like this. It’s personal and it’s private."

This bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

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