This week committees in two state legislatures voted down legislation to legalize assisted suicide.
- The Health Committee of Hawaii’s Senate unanimously defeated a bill modeled, like the draft legislation being proposed in Vermont, on Oregon’s 1997 Death with Dignity Act. The committee chairman told the Honolulu Star Advertiser, “”After considering the large body of testimony presented to us, I have determined that community sentiment here today has been overwhelmingly opposed to moving this measure forward in its present form…from my perspective, for an issue of this magnitude, I believe we need to have more agreement as a community. So for now we need to find other ways to support those dealing with end-of-life decisions, with the greatest possible compassion and respect.”
- In news so recent it has not been reported by the press as of this posting, the Judiciary Committee in the Montana Senate defeated a bill that would have made assisted suicide legal there. Contrary to some press reports at the time, a decision of the Montana Supreme Court in the fall of 2009 did not legalize assisted suicide, but left the decision whether or not to do that up to the legislature. See our links page for a link to a New York Times article explaining the Supreme Court decision. Today, the legislature declined the Court’s challenge to make it legal.
We hope that two legislative defeats in one week will lead Governor Shumlin and the leadership of our legislature to a wise decision not to allow the introduction of similar legislation in our state.