Margaret Dore Argues Against Assisted Suicide in Montana

Judge Michael Menehan
Sanjay Talwani - MTN News

HELENA - The issue of physician assisted suicide was in court Tuesday.

Montanans Against Assisted Suicide [MAAS] is arguing that a policy position by the Montana Board of Medical Examiners implies that physician assisted suicide may be legal.

A lawyer for the Board says that the position - since rescinded, says no such thing. Michael Fanning says the group bringing the lawsuit has no real case is trying to force the issue to the Montana Supreme Court.

The position paper, written in response to doctor inquiries, said that the board would handle complaints related to assisted suicide on a case-by-case basis as it would other cases.

Margaret Dore, an attorney for MAAS, said the paper overstepped the Board's authority and implied to many that assisted suicide was legal in Montana.

"They are a board that is comprised of 11 doctors and two members of the public," she said. "It has no expertise to be making a pronouncement, that aid in dying is legal in Montana. That's the role of the legislature or a court and they are neither."

She said that such an understanding had huge implications in devaluing the lives of the sick and elderly.