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Americans United For Life Denounces Montana Court's Assisted Suicide Decision, Urges Appeal
Date:12/8/2008

CHICAGO, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans United for Life (AUL) condemns a Montana trial court's ruling that persons in the state have a right to die by assisted suicide, and urges the state to appeal the decision to the Montana State Supreme Court.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL President and CEO, stated, "This ruling begins the descent toward euthanasia and even a duty to die in Montana. We have already seen cases in Oregon where patients are denied state insurance coverage for life-saving treatments and are told instead the state will pay for their suicides. Assisting someone in committing suicide is never a compassionate choice."

Mailee Smith, AUL Staff Counsel added, "This court's decision sets the stage for an even more dangerous situation than what exists in other states where physician-assisted suicide is already permitted. The plaintiffs in this case argued assisted suicide should be available to a broader group of patients than can even receive lethal drugs in Oregon or Washington. In Montana, assisted suicide will not be limited to patients with terminal illnesses."

The case, Baxter v. State, was brought by a group of physicians and ill patients who challenged the state's homicide statutes arguing the public policy of Montana should be read to support assisted suicide.

Denise Burke, AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs, stated, "In siding with suicide advocates in this case, the trial court has opened the gates for suicide-on-demand in the state of Montana. Anyone who survives on medication will be entitled to assisted suicide, and there are no safeguards ensuring that persons requesting suicide are not suffering from a treatable mental illness."

About Americans United for Life

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS' Frontline program chronicled AUL's successful efforts in Mississippi.


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SOURCE Americans United For Life
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