Currently happening largely under radar, in Montana.
Physicians in Montana could be facing “kill-on-demand”
orders from patients who want to commit suicide if a district court
judge’s opinion pending before the state Supreme Court is affirmed.
The case has attracted nominal attention nationwide, but lawyers
with the Christian Legal Service have filed a friend-of-the-court brief
in the pending case because of what it would mean to doctors within the
state, as well as the precedent it would set.
The concern is over the attack on doctors’ ethics and religious
beliefs – as well as the Hippocratic oath – that may be violated by a
demand that they prescribe deadly chemicals or in some other way assist
in a person’s death.
Currently, doctors are allowed to ‘opt-out’ of procedures they’re
morally or ethically opposed to, but the threat looms large that such
conscience protection will be wiped out.
A ‘right to die’ advocate of the former Hemlock Society (now called
‘Compassion & Choices’) argues that someone who’s going to die
should have the right to choose the timing and method. And doctors
should be compelled to assist in the act.
But Montana Assistant Attorney General Anthony Johnston disagrees.
Johnston told the television station, “The laws governing the
medical profession say the medical profession is to heal, not to kill.”
The end of conscience protection in America is something we all must be thinking seriously about.