The right to die… in Montana

Montana may become the first American state to allow medically-assisted suicide

When Robert Baxter’s battle with lymphocytic leukemia reached its peak last year, the 76-year-old wanted to end things—with the help of his doctor. But the doctor did not help. And Mr. Baxter died soon afterwards. Tomorrow, Montana’s highest court will consider whether that doctor’s refusal violated Baxter’s rights under Montana’s Constitution. It is expected that the seven-member State Supreme Court will rule in Baxter’s favour. Lawyers on both sides stress Montana’s tradition of placing privacy rights and personal liberty above all else. “This case is part of a journey,” said Kathryn L. Tucker, director of legal affairs for the national advocacy group Compassion and Choices and co-counsel for Mr. Baxter’s estate. “It’s about empowering patients and giving them the right to decide when they have suffered enough.”

The New York Times

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