I’ve been struggling through the decision by the Montana Supreme Court in Baxter v. Montana. I’m still trying to get my head around the implications of the specific wording used in the decision – a decision which states there is nothing that currently prohibits physician-assisted suicide in Montana law right now (in the court’s interpretation). As a result, the court declined to evaluate any arguments regarding a “constitutional right” to an assisted suicide.
I’m paying extra attention to the “specially concurring” opinion written by Justice Nelson. His concurrence is almost as long as the court opinion – and is alarming in just how far this justice would like to see the practice and the “right” of assisted suicide advance in Montana.
But I still need a little time to process this. Here’s a sample of what others are saying:
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition issued a press release on the day of the decision titled Baxter v. Montana: Assisted-Suicide Lobby Group does not get What it Wanted: The Montana Supreme Court Denies Constitutional Right to “Aid-in-Dying”.
True Compassion Advocates, a group based in Washington state, also issued a press release, titled Baxter v. Montana: The Montana Supreme Court Declines to rule on Constitutional Right to Assisted Suicide; Legislature needs to “step up to the plate” to protect Montana citizens.
Bill Peace, writing at Bad Cripple, gives a pretty blunt assessment of the decision as he sees it in a blog entry titled Assisted Suicide: Legal in Montana.
Stay tuned, more soon. –Stephen Drake