This is from the First Things blog, “Second Hand Smoke” (http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/). The author, Wesley Smith, is a well-known bioethicist, writer, and blogger. His last point, that Idaho assisted suicide advocates had planned to “pull a Montana” refers to the tactic used by assisted suicide advocates of taking efforts to legalize it to the courts rather than going through the people’s elected representatives in the legislature. The Montana supreme court decision, however, did not succeed in making assisted suicide legal, but simply threw the problem back to the legislature, where it belonged in the first place. The legislature has so far failed to pass either an outright Idaho-style ban on assisted suicide or a law making it legal. The Montana law remains in legal limbo, and the legislature will no doubt be taking it up again.
Monday, March 28, 2011, 1:55 PM
Wesley J. Smith
Bueno! The Idaho Legislature has overwhelmingly passed legislation to explicitly outlaw assisted suicide in the state. From the story:
The Idaho House has concurred with the Senate and voted to ban assisted suicide in Idaho. The measure, Senate Bill 1070, passed the House 61-8. It now heads to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk for consideration. Idaho hasn’t necessarily had a problem with assisted-suicide in recent history, but one of the sponsors of the bill, Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, said the measure will help ward off attempts to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Idaho.
A little inside baseball: For reasons I won’t get into, there was a strong suspicion that assisted suicide advocates would try to pull a Montana in Idaho. Hence, the explicit ban. If the governor signs the bill, they can’t. I assume this will soon be law.